Exemplars of Commitment
As we commence our forty days of prayers, fasting, and almsgiving in March, we will also commemorate the feast of St. Joseph (March 19) and the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25). With these solemnities, we see what it means to exercise our faith in body, mind, heart, and soul, united with the Holy Trinity.
Consider Mary at the annunciation. Mary accepted Jesus Christ within her by the power of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The love of God was in Mary’s entire being. She shared that love with Joseph, her chaste spouse and Jesus’ earthly father. Embracing Jesus and Mary, Joseph followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit, obeying the will of God.
With Jesus at the center of their lives and the Holy Spirit to guide them, Mary and Joseph dedicated themselves to faithful prayer, sacrifice, and charity through their daily living. Prayerfully following God’s will, they shared Jesus with those searching for salvation and protected Jesus so he could grow and flourish. Certainly, Mary and Joseph can be looked upon as an example to help us exercise our faith.
Are We Dedicated?
We need to determine whether we are dedicated to what God wants us to do. For example, do we negotiate with ourselves over our Lenten practices so they won’t be inconvenient? After Lent and then Easter, does our Lord remain at the center of our lives or do we return to old habits and vices?
Imagine if Mary or Joseph had lacked discipline. Would Jesus have come into existence to dwell among us as God planned? Would Mary and Joseph have recognized the Holy Spirit’s promptings to guide them as the Spirit of the Lord is meant to guide us?
To have—and maintain—strong faith, let us put our body, mind, heart, and soul into it. In other words, we are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our being, all our strength, and all of our mind. This is in addition to loving our neighbor as ourselves. Attaining this level of commitment prevents us from compartmentalizing our faith—only to exercise it when it’s convenient.
However we live, we are here to share the love of God, like Mary and Joseph. By prayers, sacrifices, and charity, our Lord’s love will dwell and flourish in our world. So, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit—and Mary and Joseph—let us renew our bond with the Trinity. Our lives and our world will be stronger and better for it. Amen!