Mary’s Sinlessness and Simplicity

It has been my mission lately to live as simply as possible. One of my mottos has become: “Make Due”. In other words, if I want green beans for supper but only have broccoli on hand, I will make due with broccoli. If I have a couch with broken springs and am unable to replace it, I will make due with a few chairs. If I run out of shredded cheese, I will shred some by hand. In other words, I will try my best to use what I already have on hand instead of jumping on Amazon or jumping in my car and going to the store.

One of my models for living simply is the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Conception we celebrate today. I can picture her in her home, baking bread, mending clothing or spending time with her family and friends. I can’t imagine she desired more earthly things, and I can imagine her being thankful for everything she did have, no matter how small. Her pure soul proclaimed the greatness of the Lord and her simple spirit lacked for nothing.

In today’s Gospel, Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel was “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” She did not put on airs saying, “Why yes, I knew there was something special about me. I thought for sure God had a very important mission in mind for me.” Nor did she demonstrate false humility by responding, “Who, me? No, no, no. I think there must be some mistake here. I could never be good enough for something so monumental.” Rather, she recognized herself for what she truly was, for what we all are, simply servants. Simple handmaids.

The second part of her response was, “May it be done unto me according to your word.” She didn’t say, “Hey, could you wait a week or so while I prepare all my family and friends for this, so they don’t freak out on me?” She didn’t request “Ok, sure, but could you make sure I don’t gain too much weight and find a comfy spot for me to give birth?” She simply allowed it to be done, in God’s timing and in God’s way.

On this special Solemnity, may we not only recognize Mary in her sinlessness, but in her simplicity as well. Sin complicates and multiplies confusion. It fosters negativity and division. But Mary did not suffer those side effects within her being. She desired one thing, to do the will of God. As we seek to live less sinfully and more simply, may this be our desire as well.

By Tami Urcia