Imagine it is 8 a.m. on a Friday morning and everyone is preparing to rush off to work or school or whatever morning activity is in their schedule. Now when someone gets to work or school, it is usually the person’s desire to excel in the tasks he has to do that day, aiming to please his supervisor, teacher, or other authority figure. We appreciate the affirmation and praise from others for doing something well and rightfully so—our goals in life should not be to let people down. When we are constantly seeking the praise, affirmation, and attention from those around us for our worldly good deeds, however, perhaps we should ponder if this is the only thing we want people to see in us. If this is the case, then maybe we are only seeing ourselves in a half-empty-glass manner, not living up to our full potential.
We know that all of our gifts, talents, and achievements come from God and that it is through his graces that we receive them. Therefore, should people not see Christ in us? Should they not see him in our daily actions and pursuits? If they do see him, then we are living the life to which we are called. Although our lives have many trials and tribulations that can turn our focus toward ourselves, our Lord has given us a great example of what it means to live a life in which people see Christ: the life of our Blessed Mother Mary.
Mary is the perfect witness of a Christ-centered life, a life in which Christ dwells within and shines forth in all her actions. She exemplifies this in many ways through her trust in the Father, fidelity to her Son, and docility to the Holy Spirit. Mary trusts in the Father when she agrees to bring his Son into the world. As Christ goes about his life and ministry on earth, she never doubts his decisions and always makes hers based on his will. She is docile to the movements of the Holy Spirit by submitting her will so that it is united with her Son’s in his passion and death. She humbles herself by being the Mediatrix of all graces, interceding for us to her Son, the Source of all grace. All of these actions and decisions of Mary help us to see Christ when we look to her.
Likewise, it is the life of Christ reflected in us that is the ultimate good life, the life we are all called to live. As we live our busy daily life, therefore, we should step back and examine our desires and decisions. If they are only ordered to an earthly end, then we should ask God for a greater desire for his will for us, that we may be more perfectly united with him, beholding him, so that he dwells within us. We aim to receive the glory of God and not of man, so that when we ask ourselves who people see when they look at us, the answer will always be Christ.
Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (used with permission)