If you aren’t looking to the Blessed Mother during this season of preparation, now is the time to begin. In these final days of Advent, we imagine the Blessed Mother journeying to Bethlehem, nine months pregnant and riding on the back of a donkey.
We can only imagine the emotions she felt—fear, anticipation, worry, excitement—as she neared the end of her pregnancy in such an inhospitable situation. Her obedience, charity, trust, humility, and love are virtues that we should all strive to imitate and grow in this Advent and Christmas season.
“I think it’s a great example to us to look to the life of Our Lady and how each day leading up to the birth of Jesus, She prepared to welcome Him. And She allowed Him to grow a little bit more in Her every day,” said Gary Zimak, Catholic speaker and regular contributor to Morning Air® on Relevant Radio®.
Immaculately conceived without the stain of original sin, Mary is uniquely able to answer the call of God and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in Her life. When we turn to Her example for help, She can assist us in our faith journey as well.
When we take time to reflect on our day, we might see some missed opportunities where we could have followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit but did not. But part of that, says Zimak, “Is recognizing that any good that I do today is really coming about by grace. So that’s why I can look to Our Lady who was full of grace and sets the example for me.” He recommends asking Mary this Advent season to help you to not get in the way of the Holy Spirit working in your life.
We see in Mary so many examples of charity and generosity that should guide our Advent journey. One that Zimak loves to reflect on is the Visitation. “No sooner did Mary get the word that She had been chosen to become the mother of the Messiah—she had all this stuff laid in Her lap, all these things She had to be concerned about—that She took off and went to visit Her relative Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.” She left all of Her own problems behind and went to be with someone who needed Her. We can all learn from Mary’s humility and love.
As we complete our Advent journey this year, Mary can help us to grow in ways that we don’t even recognize we need. “This is the beauty of journeying through Advent with the Blessed Mother: I can turn to Her and say, ‘Blessed Mother, I want to grow closer to Jesus … but I’m not sure I know what I need.’ And just like She saw there was a shortage of wine at the Wedding at Cana, Mary sees the things in our lives that we lack, especially spiritually, and She can intercede on my behalf.”
Listen to more from the conversation:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has looked with favor on His humble servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed,
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel
for He has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise He made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
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