August is often referred to as Mary’s Month. This is primarily because August the 15th is the Feast Day of the Assumption. Throughout the whole of Wester Europe it is held as a public holiday and festivals and processions in major cities and obscure villages ( particularly in Spain) seem to just spring up.
Whatever our own view might be of the bodily Assumption of the Mother of Our Lord into Heaven it gives us an opportunity to reflect upon this woman who gave birth to the Saviour and who was very much at the centre of the embryonic Church two thousand years ago.
Mary said “Yes” to God when she was visited by the Archangel Gabriel. “Let it be according to thy word” is what we find in Holy Scripture. She did not shut her ears to the voice of the Almighty from whom she had received such wonderful and yet daunting news. Her heart was to be broken and restored so many times as she watched Jesus grow and his ministry develop. Throughout she trusted God and carried in her heart and mind the knowledge of his divinity. No wonder many Christians make such a big deal about her throughout the year.
“Yes” to God. It’s an odd expression and one wonders what on earth it might mean to us. And yet it is a question that every Christian must seek to hear. Readership, priesthood, PCC membership, Churchwarden, Mothers Union, Coffee rota, Church cleaning team, study group, prayer group – these require a Yes to the prompting of the Spirit that may well find its voice through the encouragement of another person who sees in us what we cannot see ourselves; It is unlikely that we will be visited by the archangel Gabriel!
As Christian people we ought always to be willing to give our lives to God each day – lots and lots on Yes’s. It begins with prayer and devotion and it ends with action. And in saying Yes to God we will find that our spiritual lives deepen and that we begin, if ever so slowly, to become the Christ centered people God would have us be.
August may be Mary’s month but every day is an opportunity for us all to say yes to Jesus.