My word of the year is “fiat.” When I saw that word pop up on my phone screen, I froze. Instantly, I was scared of this word. Why? Because of today’s Gospel.
Through Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel, she uniquely participated in salvation history by completely abandoning herself and her will over to the will of God. It was so much more than a simple yes. Mary’s complete and total fiat called her to be the Mother of God, to witness her son’s Passion and death and so much more – talk about some pressure!
I started to worry about what this word fiat would mean for this year of youth ministry, for my life, for my relationship with God, for everything. Just as quickly as the fear came, though, it started to settle. Sure, I was still scared but it was a healthy fear, an exciting fear – the kind of fear where you leap into action. I knew I truly wanted to live this entire year as a fiat. I also knew that God was extending me a special invitation – to trust Him in all things, just as Mary did 2,000 years ago.
Trust doesn’t work like a light switch, though. We don’t just flip the switch and suddenly begin to trust in the Lord. It’s something that takes practice, a habit we have to grow in. So how do we do that?
One way to grow in trust is to continuously turn to the Lord in prayer – because how can we trust someone if we don’t know who they are? Prayer is where we spend time with the Lord and share our hearts with Him. It is where we grow in relationship with Him and come to know who He is.
Prayer is also a very Marian thing to do. Before Mary gives her fiat, she is troubled by Gabriel’s greeting of “hail favored one” and she ponders in her heart what it means. When Jesus was missing in the temple for three days and He responded that He must be about His Father’s house, Mary kept those things in her heart. But she didn’t just keep them in her heart, she shared them with the Lord and so was able to trust Him in every moment. Mary prayed so that she could give her fiat again and again all the way up to and after the cross.
Today, we have the opportunity to trust the Lord with whatever is on our hearts. Turn to Him in prayer, give whatever is on our hearts over to Him and grow in trust. And if we don’t know where to begin, we can look to Mary – Mary who pondered all things in her heart, Mary who models perfect trust and abandon when she says, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Erin is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is passionate about the Lord Jesus, all things college sports and telling stories and she is blessed enough to get paid for all three of her passions as a full-time youth minister and a freelance sports writer.
Feature Image Credit: Jon Tyson, https://unsplash.com/photos/zlf17V5sCRQ