5th Day of Simbang Gabi
When my eldest sister had just given birth to my eldest nephew, she was asked by a five-year old girl, “Are you a virgin?” My sister wanted to answer, “How I wish!” but the girl might not get it, so she simply said, “No.” And the little girl pursued her questioning. “But you have a baby. Why are you not a virgin?”
Well, we found out that the only virgin that little girl had heard of was Mary – Blessed Virgin Mary – and everyone knows that Mary had a baby. Therefore, for that girl, a virgin must be a woman who has had a baby. Can you imagine that little girl telling her schoolmates and playmates: “I am not a virgin.”
For me one of the most impressive parts of the Christmas story, aside from the virgin birth, takes place right at the end of today’s gospel reading when Mary says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” What faith Mary has! What incredible trust! Even though in her confusion she asks, “How can this be?” but Mary is ready to accept the answer of the angel: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” “For nothing will be impossible for God.”
By saying ‘Yes’, by giving her ‘fiat’, Mary expresses her willingness to be an instrument for the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of humankind. Mary places her whole being, freely and unconditionally, at the service of God.
According to Pope Francis, the yes of Mary, inherent in every act of faith and in every attitude of trust, becomes a yes matched by her action. She gives life to her Yes or Fiat by obeying God’s will, by cooperating with God in carrying out his saving plan. In faith, Mary relies on God and not on herself. Moreover, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Fiat at the Annunciation is just the result of an entire life built upon saying ‘Yes’ to God in small, everyday situations of her life. Her saying ‘Yes’ to God encapsulates Mary’s way of life.
Let us pray that we may have the humble faith and total trust of Mary – that we may be enabled to give ourselves completely to the Lord. With Mary’s inspiration, may we be able to say our own ‘Fiat’, ‘Yes’ to the urgent and ever-pressing call to proclaim the Good News of God’s love.
Our life is not about us; it is about God. Our life should not be about pursuing their own plans; it should be about following God’s will. This means placing ourselves dramatically, radically, and totally in the hands of God. It means making our life about the business of God, and not just about our own plans and ambitions. It means getting actively involved in the life and mission of Christ. Buong katotohanan at katapatan ba nating masasabi na ito nga ang pinagbubuhusan natin ng lakas at pinaglalaanan natin ng panahon?
May our life be a constant ‘Yes’ to God, ‘Yes’ to his will. “Yes, Lord, I will follow your will!” “Yes, Lord, I will be your servant!” “Yes, Lord, I will bring Jesus to others!” “Yes, Lord, I will try to be good news to others!” “Yes, Lord, I will seek the good of my sisters and brothers!” May our life be always directed by God’s will. Maging ito man ay ang pagpili natin sa mga pahahalagahan natin; o ang paggamit natin ng ating time, talents, and resources; o ang pagpapasya natin sa iba’t ibang aspeto ng buhay – pag-aaral, pagtratrabaho, paghahanap-buhay, career, relationship, love-life, social life, community life.
Sana, tulad ng Mahal ng Birheng Maria, mabigyan natin ng buhay ang ating matamis na ‘Oo’ sa Diyos sa kongkreto at praktikal na paraan. May we be able to manifest or translate our fiat into a personal involvement and active participation in the life and mission of Christ, whatever our status is. Let us give our fiat flesh and blood as we strive to bring the Good News and be good news to others, especially the least, the last and the lost. Ano ang mabuting balita para sa kanila? Pagkain sa nagugutom, tahanan sa walang masilungan, gamot sa maysakit, panghospital sa nangangailangan nito, kabuhayan sa nawalan nito, edukasyon sa pinagkaitan nito, liwanag para sa nasa kadiliman, pag-asa sa nasisiraan ng loob.
We can only learn Mary’s way of life, of saying ‘Yes’ to God, in our personal encounter and friendship with Jesus. Out of that encounter comes a new relationship with others. Our friendship with Jesus moves us to see and treat others as friends – in fact, as sisters and brothers.
May we have the faith of Mary that will enable us to see Christ in the person of the poor and the needy, and experience the joy of encountering Jesus.