In the life of a parish, there are going to be good days and bad days. The good days include sacramental events such as First Communions and Confirmations. Bad days might force us to deal with troubled children, angry parents, or upset pastors.
If we want to celebrate the good things and rise above the negative, the Virgin Mary might be an example for us to pattern ourselves after.
Throughout her life, Mary no doubt repeated the words she said to the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation: “Be it done to me according to your Word.” (Luke 1:38) I’m sure it gave her joy when she reflected on these words as she watched Jesus growing up, performing miracles, and enjoying tender moments with family and friends. I’m also sure these words gave her consolation when things were difficult, like when Jesus was rejected, when people turned away from him, and when he suffered his passion and death. Mary’s words would have also resounded with St. Ignatius Loyola. One of the signature themes of Ignatian spirituality is to “find God in all things.”
In my own life, I’ve often reflected on Mary’s trust. From the moment she heard Gabriel’s words until the moment she knew her son had risen from the dead, Mary trusted that God was working. Of course, this kind of trust is fairly easy when things are going well. Yes, it’s easy to trust in those moments.
But when struggles and difficulties come our way—and anyone in parish life has their fair share of these—it seems like we easily fall into a sense of distrust. Where is God? Why won’t He help me with this problem? How come I can’t seem to hear Him anymore?
Mary knew that God was with her. St. Ignatius knew that too. How can we have that same confidence and trust? Is it a struggle for you to “find God in all things,” or does this phrase bring you a sense of peace?