Jan 12, 2010

Mary's Freedom to Let Go

The good folks at Creighton University have some interesting insights on the Wedding Feast of Cana today:

But the other words Simeon had spoken that day were words she prayed with each morning. That long ago day in the temple, in that small crowd around Anna and Joseph, Simeon had turned to Mary and said quietly, “This child will be the cause of the fall and rise of many in Israel.” Then he touched her shoulder gently. “And you, dear mother, will have your heart pierced in pain.”

She and Joseph had talked about this after they left the temple and in the years after. They knew that Jesus was sent by God. She remembered the words of Gabriel. But he was also just … Jesus. He was their little boy who had played in the sawdust of the workshop, run through the streets of their tiny town with the other boys and learned his scriptures.

Since that long ago day in the temple, Joseph had died, and Jesus had been her support and companion. They knew each other’s hearts so well. She watched as he often left the house, wandering out into the desert to pray. She, too, asked the Lord each day to open her own heart. “I know you have called him for a special reason,” she would pray each morning. “Let me be willing to let him go. Let me recognize when it is his time.”

What are we holding onto in our lives that prevents us from realizing when we need to minister to others? Is it fear or doubt? (I'm not good enough or worthy enough?) Is it laziness or apathy? (Nobody cares, Nobody will come to my event, It's too much trouble!) Or are we rushing and not letting ourselves naturally develop into our God-given roles? Do we hope to be at the end of the road before we've even left the garage?

What do we need to be freed from in order to truly become all that we are? Or...

What do we need to be freed from so that we might not prevent someone ELSE from becoming all that THEY are?

Whatever the case, we need to pray as Mary did--to not merely know her role but to also know when it was time to let Jesus go, to allow Him to become the man that He needed to be. Joseph is presumed to be dead at this juncture and Jesus clings to Mary as a widow because widows need their sons. Widows are often destitute as their sons have their own families to care for and in this society, people generally did not expect to live that long. Old women often outlived their sons, husbands and entire families and nobody was left to care for them. Imagine the fear that Mary had knowing that Jesus was all that she had and now she indeed must let him go.

Today let us pray for the freedom to let go of our fears so that we might not get in the way of God's plan for us and for the world. God gives us this freedom to become all that we are. What do you do today with this great gift?

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