By Fr. Jason Hage
Today we celebrate the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple. Some ancient non-biblical sources explore the topic of how Mary was dedicated to God at a very young age. These sources speak of how Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, brought Mary to the Temple as a child to be wholly given over to God in thanksgiving and praise. And this thanksgiving and praise was to be played out in Mary’s life through her readiness to hear the Word of God and to receive it with an open heart.
So many times, we can underestimate the role God may have for us in the lives of others. We may think that our presence does not make a difference, or at least very little. We like to push ourselves down thinking that we have no role to play at all, and that our contribution will come to nothing. We have trouble seeing that we are significant, indeed, incredibly significant in the eyes of God. Think of the incredible role Mary was going to play in God’s plan of salvation. He was preparing her, from her childhood, for that key moment when she would be invited by the angel Gabriel to be the Mother of God. Her “yes” was going to make all the difference in the world; and it has.
Your “yes” to God’s will in your life is just as precious. If you are pondering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, I believe this memorial that we celebrate today teaches us the im-portance of creating the “space” in our lives to hear God’s voice and to accept it with a willing heart. Just as Mary, in her childhood, lived her life in a singular way in service to the Lord, so too must we clear away the things in our lives that may cloud of our vision of what God is calling us to do in this life. Once we have opened our hearts to God’s will for our lives, then we will quickly realize how many people in our Church are awaiting our courageous and generous response. Who knows? Your “yes” to God’s will in your life could be the only way someone else you have not yet met will come to know God’s love for them in Christ Jesus. Is this not what Mary’s “yes” did for all of us?