Pregnant with twins and in her third trimester, Sarah—a catechist on maternity leave—settled into the chair next to me at the café. She let out a huge sigh and closed her eyes. “Yes, I’m quite pregnant,” she said. “Whenever I encounter another person there are just three words that I’m interested in hearing: You. Look. Great.”
After sharing a good laugh, she continued, “Seriously, though, I’m not looking for compliments. ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!’ God’s greatness is at work in me, so I should look great, right?”
Sarah’s reference to the beautiful words of the Magnificat inspired me to share this reflection of the many ways in which Mary, Our Mother, animates our vocation and mission as catechists. Let’s reflect upon the first few lines of the Magnificat. (Luke 1:46–49)
“My soul magnifies the Lord, / and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” (Luke 1:46–47)
Mary models an attitude of gratitude, which stands in great contrast to the kind of boastful achievement so prevalent in our culture. Gratitude leads to her joyful proclamation of the Lord’s greatness, not her own.
For reflection: As catechists, do we merely recite our lessons, or do we boldly proclaim them in a spirit of gratitude and joy? How do we understand God, Our Savior, at work in our own lives?
“for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. / Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; ” (Luke 1:48)
In her humility, Mary sets before us a model of faith that we must strive to imitate. Although free of pride, she understood that her personal testimony was not meant to be kept private. She had a mission to fulfill, which included giving voice to the greatness of God to all ages.
For reflection: In a spirit of humility, how do we, in our role as catechists, give praise and thanksgiving for all that God has blessed us with?
“for the Mighty One has done great things for me, / and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49)
Mary’s words celebrate the divine grace that has entered into her very body and soul, making her the Mother of the Lord. We too are filled with God’s grace. But we must always remember that this is first and foremost the work of God, who calls, nourishes, sends, and accompanies us. God always moves toward us and, like Mary, our blessings flow from God’s divine initiative.
For reflection: As catechists, how do we, like Mary, give voice in celebration of God’s initiatives and amazing works? How do we teach our students and their families to do the same?
Reflecting upon the faithful response of Mary, Our Mother, God’s grace moves us ever closer to living the Magnificat and strengthens our vocation and mission as catechists. May our efforts be pleasing to God and fill us with joy so that all we encounter will look upon us and say: “You. Look. Great.”