Yeah, you know who I’m talking about… Mary, Mary the Mother of God, Mom, The Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and so on. But what’s the big deal with Mary; she was just another random woman, right? Actually, the Catholic Church teaches us that Mary is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) when it comes to mothers, women, saints, etc. But why is she such a big deal?  Because of her yes, her constant faith, and the fact that she’s the mother of Jesus.

First off, Mary said yes. When we talk about Mary’s yes, or “fiat,” people often get confused by the phrase, especially non-Catholics. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God. While Mary was initially caught off guard, as I’m sure we all would have been, and asked “how can this be?,” she responded with openness to the will of the Lord in the Gospel of Luke saying, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” This is such an impactful moment where Mary gives herself willingly to the Father. As we all know, this can be a very difficult thing for us to do. Even in our daily life we like to do things our way, not listening to or letting God in.  Here is Mary, a young and recently engaged woman, who knows she will get in trouble even though she’s fully trusting the Lord. So why is Mary the GOAT? She let the Lord work in Her life and said yes to the life of Christ.

What’s next? Mary had an incredibly strong and constant faith. I don’t just say that because she said yes.  But she continued to listen. If you weren’t aware, the traveling Mary did shortly after giving birth was long and difficult. Mary and Joseph had to travel a long way to remain safe, had to constantly listen to the Lord’s will, and constantly rely on God’s plan. They had no clue why they were traveling to Egypt; they just knew that God told them to. Now put yourself in Mary’s shoes. This amazing woman had to watch her Son die right in front of her. Her Son, whom she knows is the Son of God. Instead of being angry or resenting God, she trusts fully in His plan and gives Him yet again, everything. I’m not saying our problems aren’t problems.  We definitely have things that affect our lives, but if we put our trust fully in God’s hands like Mary did, we will receive greater strength and help during those times of trial.

You know the saying… leave the best for last — she’s the Mother of Jesus Christ; the Mother of God. All Christian faiths believe in this truth. While it may just be that we forget about this or don’t put it into perspective, we all acknowledge that she is the Mother of Jesus Christ.  Since we all know and affirm that Jesus is “true God and true man,” she is, then, the Mother of God. As Catholics, we hold this firm truth and even take this understanding one step further. What is the fifth commandment?  Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” So listen to your parents. If yours are anything like mine you heard that a lot growing up. But the point is, you listen to what you’re told by your parents. Well Jesus, being perfect in every way, would have to listen to His mother and father, right?  Want proof? Look in John 2. In Cana, Mary tells Jesus that the wedding is out of wine and Jesus goes, ok so what, Mom, it’s not my time. Does she stop there? No. Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. And then, what happens? Jesus listens to his Mother and performs His first miracle—the turning of water into wine. So if Jesus listens to His Mother then, wouldn’t he still listen to her now? That’s exactly why we pray for Mary’s intercession. We don’t pray to Mary as if she’s God.  We ask her, and other saints, to pray for us! A book I read called 33 Days to Morning Glory (check it out), describes it this way. In the old days, when a servant would want to give something to the King, he would go to the Queen first (let’s use an apple for the example).  He would give her the apple and then she might put it on something like a gold tray with beautiful flowers around it and would then present it to the King. The same thing happens when you ask Mary to pray for you. You simply ask her to perfect your prayers and make them beautiful before presenting them to the King.

My challenge for you is to find time in each day to pray just one Hail Mary. Find a way to devote your life to the Mother of God and by doing so, bringing yourself closer to Christ himself. That, ultimately, is her entire goal – to bring your closer to her son!

This story was written by Joseph Barringhaus, Youth Events Coordinator & Digital Media Assistant. It was originally published 10/11/16 on, and was republished in the December 2016 Edition of The St. Francis Grapevine, our parish newsletter.