Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Simple Idea: The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

“As proof that you are sons [and daughters] God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.” – Gal 4:6-7

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” – Lk 2:19

There is a name so unique in the world that only one person, past, present, or future, can be called. The name is “Mother of God.” The Greek form of this name given to Mary — the mother of Jesus — is Theotokos, or literally, God-bearer. This name not only affirms who Mary is; it confirms who Jesus is, as God-with-us; it also attests to who we are: as children of God, as heirs of God.

It is easy to think that we are children of God, even as easy to proclaim it with our lips. But to believe this within our hearts, that is a challenge for a lifetime.

It occurs to me that an inception takes place in everyone’s life. The movie Inception suggests how a simple idea can transform a person’s life. If planted deep enough within a person’s consciousness, it will change everything. What if the simple idea is this: God loves you as you are, personally, uniquely, without condition, without limit? Moreover, you are God’s Beloved, no buts and ifs. When you and I believe this mystery and embrace it, our lives will change. 

For prayer-help today, I used this video a team of us made:

It helps me on this first day of 2012 to reflect on how this simple idea has taken root within me this past year – this inception through the Holy Spirit. I discover that in many ways, I am still the perfectionist, over-idealistic, willful person who struggles with balance. One who trusts mostly but still wants to take control when God seems absent or too slow. One who mainly accepts others but is often blinded by expectations.

Yet, there is a difference. I find myself responding with greater courage. The word “courage” has its roots from the Latin “cor” or the French “coeur” which means “heart.” It has been said that courage is sharing and acting from your whole heart. Communicating courageously is telling the story of who you are with your whole heart. Acting courageously is following deeper promptings from your whole heart. I still feel fear a lot of times. Yet, I find myself more willing to listen to God’s voice within, amidst my own self-doubts as well as others’ disbelief and questioning. I find myself responding more with Mary’s “yes” even though I do not know the details of the “how”. I am deeply grateful for this growth.

This inception to become God’s beloved takes a long time. Yet, the journey of a thousand leagues begins with one step. I find a joyful and hope-filled freshness to live this way, this first day of the year.

It is strange: when we take the risk to believe ourselves as God’s Beloved or to act from our whole heart, we become like Mary, Theotokos, God-bearer.

Let us begin this first day of the New Year asking for and reflecting on this dual grace:
“Lord, help me to trust that you-are-with-me, that I am your Beloved, especially in difficult moments today. Help me to discover concrete ways this year, to live from my whole heart.”

p.s. - Thank you Friends in the Lord, Companions on the Way, for being instrumental agents of grace in my life, for helping me grow in courage. Blessings of the New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Fr Tri, for your guidance and care in Christ. Blessings to you this year!