I say yes, my Lord


14 Feb 2024

Mary’s unswerving faith, humility, and love serve as an inspiration for us all in how we should respond to God.

In 1989, Donna Peña a composer and performer wrote the song ‘I Say Yes My Lord/Digo Si, Señor’. For me, this song is entirely representative of Mary’s response to being the Mother of God. Mary said a wholehearted yes.
Fast forward seven years and the title of this song became the central theme of my Life Commitment Ceremony with the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart. For me it is about modelling our life on Mary, as she was the one that brought Jesus into the world.

Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me according to your word

– Luke 1:38

In understanding the person of Jesus and Mary, the Council of Ephesus in 431CE declared Mary theotokos meaning God-bearer. That indeed Jesus was not two separate persons, yet possessing both a human and divine nature. Mary holds a unique role in the incarnation of Jesus Christ and she can be a model for us. Through her, God chose to enter the world and become one of us.

Mary’s acceptance of this extraordinary calling demonstrates her faith, humility and willingness to surrender to God’s plan. How do we also enter into God’s plan with faith, humility and willingness to surrender?

Mary’s example teaches us several lessons. Her faith is unwavering. From the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her with the message of her divine motherhood, to her presence at the foot of the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She trusted in God’s plan and submitted herself to his will, even in the face of great pain and sorrow.

Mary’s humility is evident throughout her life. Despite being chosen to carry and give birth to the Son of God, Mary remained humble and obedient. She recognised that her role was not about her own glory but about fulfilling God’s purpose.

Her humility serves as a reminder to us to embrace humility in our own lives, recognising that our purpose is not to exalt ourselves but to serve God and others.

Mary’s love and compassion are evident in her interactions with others. At the wedding in Cana, she intercedes on behalf of the hosts when they run out of wine, showing her concern for their well-being. She also stands by Jesus’ side during his crucifixion, sharing in his suffering and offering her maternal love.

Nothing is impossible for God
Luke 1:37

Mary inspires us to show kindness and empathy towards others, especially to those who are suffering or in need.

To be more like Mary, we can cultivate these qualities in our own lives. We can deepen our faith through prayer, study, and reflection on God’s Word. Like Mary, we can seek to discern and embrace God’s will for our lives, even when it may be challenging or uncertain. We can also strive to live with humility, recognising that everything we have and are, is a gift from God. By embracing humility, we can open ourselves to God’s grace and allow his plan to unfold in our lives.

We can strive to love and serve others, following Mary’s example of compassion and kindness. This can be expressed through acts of charity, reaching out to those in need, and showing empathy towards others. By imitating Mary’s love and compassion, we can become instruments of God’s love in the world.

The young Mary embodies innocence and beauty. Almost always in art she is depicted with a celestial cape. The symbolism of blue in Christian art represents faith and loyalty. Not only did she say a wholehearted yes at the birth of Jesus, but she accompanied him all of his earthly life. Staying with him in suffering until his death on the cross.

The colour blue wrapped around the Virgin Mary, reminds us that she is the one who said yes to God; who said ‘how can this come about?’.

I will say my yes, because the master demands this of me. I don’t say yes because my parents told me. I don’t say yes because my faith told me. I say this yes, because we ought to say yes to God.

Mary’s role as theotokos signifies her unique and significant place in Christian theology. Her faith, humility, and love serve as an inspiration for all.

By deepening our faith, embracing humility, and practising love and compassion, we can strive to be more like Mary and fulfill our own calling as bearers of God’s love and grace in the world.

May our yes be like that of Mary/Maria wholeheartedly. I say Yes My Lord/Digo Si, Señor.

This article first appeared in the autumn 2024 edition of Madonna magazine.

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