Editor’s note: In this post, missioner Cindy Mizes shares her admiration and devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. This blog is part of a devotional reflection that Cindy is giving to St. Joseph’s Teacher’s College today in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation.

Through her prayers and intercession, Mary can help strengthen and guide our leaders and unite the Church. Her intercession has helped me experience the fullness of Christ and deepen my love and devotion for him. Today let us focus on three virtues of the Mother of God:

Virtue 1: Her courage at the Annunciation. With courage beyond her years, Mary entered into God’s plan of salvation at the Annunciation. She said ‘Yes’ without knowing or fully understanding the suffering she would ultimately experience which, like a sword, would pierce through her own soul, as prophesied by Simeon. Her only question was, “How can this be done?” since she was a virgin. Her trust in God and her unwavering courage carried her into the holy mystery of the incarnate Christ. When you are faced with a crisis that tends to pull you down, whether it be the death of a loved one, a job loss or a debilitating illness, where do you find the strength and courage to overcome your fears and rise from the depths of your sadness? In witnessing the suffering of her Son, Mary understands your hardships and the depths of your suffering. You can ask for her intercession for God’s grace and the courage to face your storms and rise from your sadness.

Virtue 2: Her commitment to God’s will. Beginning at a very young age, Mary was obedient and completely committed to following God’s will. When her Son was wrongly convicted, unmercifully tortured, and unjustly put to death, she did not interfere because she understood this was God’s will and his plan for salvation. However, I believe Mary also knew that her Son would rise on the third day, signifying Christ’s triumph over death and God’s promise of eternal life. Mary’s commitment to God’s will meant enduring pain and suffering for the rewards of God’s Kingdom. Is there something today that you should abandon in order to enter fully into God’s will? If your choices take you further away from God, now is a good time to start turning away from those choices and follow Mary’s example of obedience and total commitment to God’s will.

Virtue 3: Her compassion. Mary’s compassion for Jesus at his crucifixion and death is incomprehensible. In living for Christ, we are also called to show compassion to those in greatest need of his love. Many people chose a career as a teacher or school administrator because they have a passion for teaching. To see students as children of God, to care for their future and welfare, and to understand and love them unconditionally even when they are at their worse is showing true compassion. Let your heart and unconditional love fuel your compassion in ways that will lead others to Christ.

So, as written in the Gospel, at the Annunciation God reveals that Mary is blessed and worthy to be the Mother of Jesus Christ. And while dying on the cross, Jesus handed his mother over to his apostle John and to all Christians. Therefore, we are called to follow Mary’s example of courage, commitment and compassion in following Christ.

All Honor and Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection question: Is there something today that you should abandon in order to enter fully into God’s will?