Hello friends, so it’s my turn to do the scripture reflection recently I went for a retreat with the Lectors, and I feel that what was shared there is really applicable to us.
The retreat was about Mary being a disciple of Christ till the end. She was also the first true disciple of Christ. The 3 most important things that they shared was that, firstly, Mary always magnified the Lord. When she went to visit Elizabeth and her child leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was telling Mary that she was blessed amongst women, the first thing Mary said was “my soul magnifies the Lord…” which we know as the Magnificat.
I think a lot of the time, I always fail to magnify the Lord. I blame Him when I run into trouble but I also call on Him when I need Him, and I never really thank Him in the good parts of life. Mary always made sure to magnify the Lord before herself. I’ve been really self-centered lately and saying that the Lord gives me hardships because He can, just wallowing in self-pity really. This also made me think (and I hope it provokes y’all to think as well, WHY are you serving in ministry?)
The second thing was definitive commitment. Mary was fully committed to being a servant of the Lord. When the Angel Gabriel came and told her she was to bear a son (she was probably like 13+, as in the old days), most people probably would be saying like “no i’m too young” or “no I can’t raise a child at 13” but all she said was “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to Your will.”
I used to struggle with this commitment thing when I first joined Acts. My parents were always going on and on about how I spend too much time in church and whether i’m actually studying and what church will get me in the future. That made it so so hard for me to commit to being a child of God. Furthermore, being a student at a secular school, it’s even harder when some people made fun of me for not going to camps and all and for not being a “hyped-up” person. There was this one guy who asked one of my good friends, “What, is Tracie too Christian to be engaged in camps and all?”
Mary was so devoted to following the Lord’s will, even to witnessing her own Son dying on a cross for other people who couldn’t even care less. Can we even imagine the pain she must have felt when she held Jesus in her arms? It’s basically every parent’s worst nightmare, and how Sr Sandra (sessionist for the retreat) defined it was super great. She said usually as humans, we always give our best and hope we get something in return (e.g divorce). We can say we want to follow Jesus, but what if He wants us to do something that we normally wouldn’t do?
Growing up in a family that didn’t and still doesn’t embrace Christ, having my eyes opened up to the faith at 15 was one of the greatest blessings ever. It showed me that even though my family doesn’t exactly embrace Christ, I don’t have to be like them. I don’t have to feel sorry for loving Him.
The third thing was walking the Way of the Cross. Jesus suffered a lot during His walk to Calvary, and during his mission. Mary also suffered a lot, during the pain of childbirth, when she fled to Egypt to escape Herod, and when she saw her Son being rejected in his mission. She suffered even more at the foot of the Cross.
I think i’m very guilty of only serving Jesus when it’s convenient to me. I never want to undergo suffering in the name of Jesus because i’m scared it’s gonna hurt, or simply because i’m just lazy. Last time in Acts, I never wanted to take on any major role like heading up canteen duty or what, because I didn’t want to do the work especially the saikang kind of work. Then when I think about how Jesus suffered for me, I feel super guilty. It’s kind of a vicious cycle really. Another thing is that we tend to treat God as a punching bag. We always say “why me?” during our times of struggle and we blame every single thing on Him.
After that retreat, I now aim to say “How do I get through this, Lord?” Pope Francis once said that when we journey without carrying our Cross, we aren’t being disciples of the Lord.
Also, you know that feeling when you find a song that really speaks to you and you get this whole epic hype feeling running through you? Yeah, I found a song like that yesterday and the opening lyric and the closing lyric really REALLY spoke to me.
“the only thing I want in life, is to be known for loving Christ
to build his Church, to love His bride, to make His Name known far and wide”
“it is not fame that i desire, nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life, that I lived more to build Your Name than mine”
I’m so sorry that this reflection is so long, I’ve just really been dying to share this retreat experience with someone and I GET TO SHARE IT WITH YOU GUYS
Tracie (3 April 2017)