Friday, April 13, 2007

Thinking Upon Mary

There are times when a delightful hope lays hold of one so strongly, that all prayers and thoughts seem laden with the cumbersome longing for fulfillment. To the wearied soul, yielding in despair seems the enviable option when compared to laboring in prayer and hope. As I was finding myself placed in such a scenario this week, I subsequently found myself longing for clarity, "How shall I pray?"

The answer came after my last student left my classroom on Friday and I was searching for the strength to calculate my third quarter grades. In tiredness, my thoughts drifted away from chemistry grades and turned to Mary, the Mother of the Lord. Here, in reflection, was a woman who faced an uncertain future, who certainly hoped for many good things. Her response to God's work in her future was refreshingly simple and exactly the prayer that my lips needed to utter: Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.

How beautifully Mary's prayer incorporates the peacefulness of surrender and the determination of hope. What could be more hopeful than a life lived in accord with God's word? Who could be more yielded than the handmaid of the Lord?