"'I am the Lord’s servant,' Mary answered. 'May your word to me be fulfilled.'" — Luke 1:38
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most highly revered women in history. So it comes as no surprise that white lilies, or “Madonna lilies,” as they are sometimes called, often symbolize her purity, humility, and devotion. Across the ages, Mary remains a powerful witness to unyielding faith.
To appreciate the sturdiness of Mary’s faith, we need only put ourselves in her place and imagine an angel suddenly appearing to us. Many of us would probably faint from terror. Yet, despite her bewilderment, Mary remains composed as she listens and responds to the angel Gabriel. The message this high-ranking angel delivers is even more startling. “By the power of the Holy Spirit you will conceive God’s Son,” Gabriel tells Mary, in effect, “and you are to call him Jesus, because he will save God’s people from their sins” (see Mathew 1:21).
And Mary responds serenely, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
For her example of unwavering faith in the face of great uncertainty, Mary deserves our deep respect. Of course she’s not divine herself, but she provides a divinely inspired example of how we too can respond when we are faced with unsettling calls to follow Jesus.
May each of us be able to say, “I am the Lord’s servant,” and then follow Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.