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Mary’s crucial role

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

ON the eve of the graduation of a senior class in high school, a dedicated, unassuming teacher was invited to a class farewell party.

In her inspirational talk, the teacher said, “Someday you will all be successful in life. But remember, a peso is not a peso without one centavo. I am that centavo in your success.”

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As we ponder the mystery of Christ’s incarnation (becoming human), we cannot help but think of Mary as the lowly “centavo” instrumental in the birth of Christ, much like that teacher to her students.

Without Mary’s “fiat” (Latin for consent), we would not be celebrating Christmas today or salvation history would have been rewritten. That’s how crucial the role of Mary was.

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One important lesson we can learn concerns knowing the will of God. For us ordinary mortals knowing God’s will is not as easy as Mary’s dramatic Annunciation.

Sometime ago a distraught lady, who has been reading our columns, came to see me expressing disappointment with God.

“I’ve always been praying that God will guide me in all that I do. But when I had my car repainted, it turned out a dismal failure. To think that I’d already paid the full amount.”

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“I contracted another painter, but it failed again! Why does God not help me when I always pray to Him?

“What did you expect God would do?” I asked. “Well, that He would give me a sign against hiring the services of those incompetent painters!”

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I told the lady discreetly that God does not work normally through direct signs and miracles. God works through our talents, our decisions, and the advice of experts and authorities. Knowing the will of God on moral matters can be known through the laws of the country and God’s laws summed up in the 10 Commandments.

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When Mary accepted the will of God, she experienced various hardships although she was no ordinary mother. For instance, right after the annunciation, she journeyed to assist her cousin Elizabeth in her delivery. Riding on a donkey to the “hill country” was certainly no picnic, especially in her pregnant condition!

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Let’s not sulk or get angry when things don’t turn out according to our wish. A student who flunked the bar exam a second time despite his fervent prayers or a marriage that failed or the untimely death of a loved one can be very difficult to swallow. However, after doing our best efforts, we should accept God’s will even amidst trials and adversities.

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As we go about our final preparations for Christmas, let’s follow Mary’s faith and her Son who said in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not my will but your will be done.”


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THE LIGHTER SIDE. There are four stages in a man’s life. First, when he believes in Sta. Claus. Second, when he doesn’t believe in Sta. Claus anymore. Third, when he is Sta. Claus. Fourth, when he looks like Sta. Claus.

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Question: Why did the pants of Sta. Claus got wet on Christmas eve?

Answer: Because he was so busy distributing gifts that he “jingled” all the way.