As the New Year begins, I’ve been thinking about Mary.
Mary was the mother of God. She fed Him and raised Him and loved Him and watched Him die on the cross.
She was faithful and strong and trusted in God in ways I can only hope to achieve.
She’s a saint, the queen of heaven and earth.
But when I think of her in her home in Nazareth, I picture her living a fairly quiet life. She worked and cooked and cleaned. She was a wife and mother and a woman of faith.
Painting by Phillippe de Champaigne
And I imagine she never made New Year’s resolutions. She didn’t need to, of course.
I, on the other hand, can’t begin to make New Year’s resolutions. The list of ways I need to improve as a person is too long. As soon as I think of one I should embrace, two or three more spring to mind.
But then I think of Mary and all she was and all she is. And I realize that she was able to fill her roles as mother and wife and disciple on earth because she had a single role, a single purpose.
When Gabriel told her God’s plan for her, she said, “May it be done to me according to your word.”
She said yes.
She didn’t say yes to everything. She said yes to God and what He was asking of her.
With her whole heart, soul, and mind, she said yes to being the Mother of God.
She said yes to being the mother of us all.
When I think of Mary, I realize that God doesn’t want me to be everything to everyone. He wants me to be the person He created me to be. He is asking me not to do it all, but to do something very specific, to fill the role on earth that is meant just for me. That’s both reassuring and challenging.
At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
That’s what she is saying to me in 2017—and it’s what she is saying to each of us.
I’m not sure how easy or difficult that will be. What I do know is that 2017 will be a year to listen, to discern, and to be open to what God has in mind for me.
As we begin this New Year, what do you think God is asking of you?