In our journey to the heavenly Jerusalem, faithfulness remains one of the indispensable virtues we must acquire in order to be saved. In talking about faithfulness, Christ reveals: “He who perseveres to the end shall be saved” (Mat. 24:13). Put differently, he who remains faithful to the end shall be saved. In revealing the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the phrase “good and faithful servant” was used by Christ (in Matt. 25:21-23) to refer to those who made good use of their God-given talents to produce good results. Words synonymous with faithfulness are: loyal, true and constant. These adjectives mean adhering firmly and devotedly to someone or something, such as a person, cause, or duty that elicits or demands one’s fidelity. The Blessed Virgin Mary is an example of unparalleled faithfulness as illustrated in the Scriptures. Therefore, today being the twentieth day of our Marian devotion in this Month of May, we are called to reflect on another outstanding title in her litany: “Virgin Most Faithful” (Virgo Fidelis).
By invoking our Lady as “Virgin Most Faithful”, we simply attest to her fidelity to God’s will and her atonement for the losses caused by the unfaithful Eve. Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the faithful Virgin, who responded to God’s Plan in all circumstances of her life and remained firm to the end in collaboration with her Son’s mission. We can say that Mary’s “yes” was repeated at all times, both in the moments of joy and sorrow.
To be faithful is to seek God every day and accept that there will be trials, but that the grace that comes from Him is much greater. This was the disposition of our Blessed Mother – she accepted the will of God as we see clearly in her “fiat” (Lk. 1:38), and having been informed by Simeone that there would be moments of sorrows (Lk. 2:34-35) together with the difficulties she and St. Joseph encountered in searching for Jesus in the temple, St. Luke tells us that Mary “stored up all these things in her heart” (Lk. 2:52). Storing them in her heart could be understood as Mary’s contemplation of the challenges and trials in her vocation with a firm trust in God’s providence in remaining faithful to the end. In other words, during her life, she was preparing for that moment when “the sword would pierce her soul” (Lk. 2:35).
Apparently, in the pages of his work, “The Glories of Mary,” Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori affirms that Mary’s pain was increasing throughout her life, that she suffered martyrdom together with her Son. Hence, the truth of Mary’s faithfulness from Nazareth to Calvary can never be overemphasized. She was with her son during his wanderings and preaching, and remained a faithful follower throughout Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross. Still, Mary’s faithfulness extends even further. She accompanied the apostles after Christ’s death and resurrection, that her presence was felt at Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14) serving as an example of faithfulness and perseverance for the good of the early Church; and even today, until the end of time, she remains an ever-shining example and model of faithfulness. Little wonder Pope St. John Paul II exclaims: “Of all the teachings that the Virgin gives to her children (…), perhaps the most beautiful and important is the lesson of fidelity.” (Pope John Paul II, in 1979, on ‘Mary’s Yes’)
How important it is for us to learn from Mary! In the midst of life’s difficulties, pains and anguish, it is pertinent to see beyond the pains with a look of faithfulness and trust in the Lord, as Mary did. Moreover, what was Mary’s attitude toward pain and suffering? She remained standing and firm. By sharing in her Son’s passion, she knew that her Son’s sufferings would bring about the redemption of the world. Put differently, we can say that in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, there was pain, and at the same time, joy. Pain, because her only treasure was subjected to a shameful death on the cross by the cruelty and injustice of men. Joy because she knew it was for the redemption of humanity and with the certainty that her Son would rise as he had promised.
I invite us to look at Our Lady and learn from her in order to remain faithful to God before our daily crosses, with a look of faith and hope in the promises of God. Pain often makes us stronger, mature; thus, preparing us for challenges. Our lesson today is to be like Mary who was faithful to the end.
Let us pray:
Oh “Virgin Most Faithful,” show us the way to Jesus! Teach us to grow fidelity and perseverance, to seek God and accept His will each day with an open heart and a firm trust in His goodness amidst the daily crosses and difficulties we encounter. Amen
Oh Virgin Most Faithful (Virgo Fidelis), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?