As many Catholics may know, May is the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To many Marian devotees, she is considered a mother to all Christians who brings us closer to God. Throughout many centuries, Mary has appeared to many children and youth around the world, especially those who opened their minds and hearts to God, evoking to them a call to prayer and conversion of humankind amidst our world contaminated by sin – a world that strays away from the Truth and teachings of God even today. In our modern society of 2018, is it always easy for youth to keep a deep prayer life and make God-focused decisions in our everyday life?
As youth of the 21st century, nurturing a relationship with God is not necessarily a priority for some teenagers and young adults. Some youth tend to rely in “likes” or “retweets” on what they post on the internet to feel a sense of belonging and self-importance. However, does this create an eternal sense of belonging? Is this what will truly make give us everlasting joy?
Being a teenager or a young adult also means learning how to make our own decisions and choices in life – but are they always Christ-centered? Do they adhere to the moral values of being a Christian? Do our relationships with our loved ones and partners involve the love of God? It is time that the youth of today start creating a deeper prayer life and start learning how to make more God-focused decisions, just like those that our Blessed Mother made during her lifetime on earth thousands of years ago.
Born to Anne and Joachim, Mary, also known as Miriam, was born free from original sin. She was engaged to Joseph and became the virgin mother of Jesus. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, at that time a teenager, and announced to her that she would become the mother of God. Despite the fact that Mary would give birth to the Saviour of Mankind, her virgin pregnancy outside of her engagement with Joseph would be very much looked down upon by her community and bring upon shame to her family especially in the small community of Nazareth. However, being aware of the social consequences of giving virgin birth to Jesus, Mary said to Gabriel during the Annunciation: “behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
To me fellow young Christians, let us be open-minded and open-hearted just like how the teenage Mary was called by God to be the mother of Jesus even though she was at risk of suffering social persecution. Mary made a decision to say “yes” in favour of what God had in plan for her. In parallel to the life of Mary, let us open ourselves to trust in and to become focused on God in everything we do because in Him, our true and everlasting happiness is found.