Handmaid of the Lord

I was recently part of a six-week journal group among mothers of my local parish. During our final session, I can recall two occurrences in particular that stood out to me. The first was that each of us were to identify another woman in our lives who has made a difference to us. Perhaps someone we view as a strong woman, or as an inspiration or a role model. Someone who had helped us learn more about who we are deep inside ourselves. Most others chose a friend of a similar age, but I struggled to identify someone.

At the close of the meeting, the group leader spoke about a memory of her father. Her father would regularly teach her that, when standing at the gates of Heaven, God will ask us three basic questions.

Did you know me? 

Did you love me? 

Who did you bring? 

Our group leader spoke of how she hoped to bring each of us with her. I was so moved. To this day, I constantly struggle with the fear of being rejected or of not being good enough. And yet, for someone who barely knew me, I knew that I was loved.

In the same model, Mary encompasses for us the values of humility, courage, and above all, love of God. She epitomizes what it is to be committed to God. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” With those words, the course of history would be changed forever. If ever I needed a female friend, who better than Mary to share with? Through her gift of self and sacrifices, she is the pinnacle of what it is to be a mother.

And when reviewing the questions my group leader posed to us, Did you know me? Did you love me? Who did you bring?,  it is by reflecting on Mary’s life that I can grow closer to the love of God. By having quiet time reflecting on prayers to my Mother, I grow in my understanding of Her beloved Son, Jesus Christ. I pray to become more humble and recall she is always by my side. Through Mary, I grow to know Christ and love Him. Through her Fiat, may we be inspired to bring countless souls on Judgment Day, when God asks us to show how we displayed our love for Him in this precious gift of life he has bestowed to us, both physical life, and spiritual life through that of His glorious son, Jesus Christ.

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Dr. Alexis Dallara-Marsh is a board-certified neurologist who practices in Bergen County, NJ. She is a wife to her best friend, Akeem, and a mother of two little ones on Earth and two others in heaven above.

Feature Image Credit: GonzaloGY, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/853-estatua-maria-rezando