Those who forgive the most love the most

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to Your Word” (Lk 1:38). With those words Mary committed and commended her life to God. 

Every day we are faced with the choice of saying yes or no to God: we choose to be for God or choose to be against God. It’s not easy. In fact, at times it’s rather frightening. Sacred Scripture tells us that Mary was in her early to mid-teens when she was faced with such a choice. We are thankful for the choice she made — Mary said “yes” and became the Mother of God’s Son. At first, Mary was afraid, but her fears were quickly conquered because of her faith and trust in God. 

Imagine now, young women, putting yourselves in Mary’s shoes. Would you? Try explaining this pregnancy to your parents or your boyfriend. Sounds like a tough story to sell. But the fact is, aside from the issue of pregnancy, we’ve all been in Mary’s shoes. We’ve all come face-to-face with God and had to respond to God’s call in some way. 

A young mother, visibly nervous, visited her doctor with her 10-month-old daughter and asked him, “I need your help with a very serious problem. My baby isn’t a year old and I am pregnant again. I do not want children so close in age.” The doctor responded, “Very well. How can I be of service?” The young mother, now seemingly hopeful, replied, “I want an abortion.” After a moment of silent thought, the doctor said, “I think I have a better solution to your problem, and it’s much less dangerous to you.” The young mother smiled, believing the doctor had complied with her request. 

The doctor continued, “Since you don’t want two young children so close in age, let’s kill the child you hold in your arms. This way, the child in you can be born. If the intention is to kill, there’s no difference to me which one dies. Sacrificing the child you hold in your arms is much simpler, and poses no danger to you.” The young mother, panic-stricken, cried out, “No doctor. That’s horrible. Killing a child is a crime.” The doctor smiled and saw that the lesson was effective. He had convinced the young mother that there is no difference in the killing of her born child and the killing of her unborn child. The crime is exactly the same. Either way, she would have become the mother of her dead child. 

Our Blessed Mother put her words into action — she bore for us a Savior and gave Him life so we can have life forever. If you are pregnant and considering an abortion, there are other choices. Have courage. Trust in God. Let Mary’s “yes” be your “yes,” your commitment to God — serve the God of life. Let Mary’s commendation be your action for life — entrust your life to God and let God’s will be done through you, in you and for you. 

Loving someone with your life means you are willing to forgive every wrong they do. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Jesus died to forgive all our sins, all of them. And in doing so He showed the Father’s infinite love for us. Forgive always and you will love always! Forgive always and you will know Who Jesus is. Love always and you will know God.

There is a Christmas song titled, “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” by Robert Macgimsey. In it he writes about this Jesus Who came to save us by taking our sins away, but, we didn’t recognize Him: “Sweet little Jesus Boy, they made You be born in a manger. Sweet little Holy Child, didn’t know Who You were. Didn’t know You’d come to save us, Lord, to take our sins away. Our eyes were blind, we couldn’t see. We didn’t know Who You were.”

See Jesus in every person and come know Him in every person. Amen! 

A blessed Advent and Christmas to you. God bless.

Anchor columnist Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.

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