I recently came across this quote from Bishop Robert Barron about Mary:
“Mary is someone who is ready for the impossible, and this makes her the paradigm of discipleship. ‘Let it be done to me according to thy word.’ That’s an acquiescence to adventure.”
My sister and I have had this little obsession with adventures for awhile now. We call walks at the park adventures or going to a new coffee place. We like to make ordinary activities more exciting. Growing up my parents would do the same thing. When we were going on a trip and got lost, they would never say those words. They’d just tell us that we were on an adventure. And we always got back to where we needed to be just on a more scenic route.
The word adventure just makes me happy and challenges me at the same time. When I read this quote the first time I decided to look up the definition of adventure. Most of the definitions involve the word risk. Adventure is so exciting because it involves going out into the unknown. It means that you don’t know exactly what the result is going to be but you take the chance anyway. We all long for adventure. We like to set out into the unknown. And doing so requires some level of trust. That’s why I could adventure so much as a child. I knew that my parents would take care of me but I also knew that I would be experiencing something new and exciting. That’s why my sister and I adventure still today.
I know I throw this quote out quite a bit but it’s super relevant always:
“Life in Christ is a wonderful adventure.” St. John Paul II
People, life in Christ is anything but boring. To decide to follow Christ means to take a risk and choose to trust. When looking at the saints and those in the Bible we realize that someone who says yes to God typically has no idea what they are really saying yes to. They know they are saying yes to a loving Father (that’s where the trust comes in), but they don’t know where that yes is going to take them. When Mary said yes to the angel she had no idea that would include a trip to Bethlehem when she was on the verge of giving birth or a flight to Egypt when Jesus was a child. She had no idea what her life would look like with the Son of God as her child. But she said yes anyway. That is one heck of a risk taker.
What I love about this quote is that it is calling each of us on to follow in her footsteps. Bishop Barron says that Mary is the paradigm of discipleship. Do you know what paradigm means? It means that Mary is the frame in which we should be formed. It means in order to be a disciple of Jesus we need to live like Mary. So each of us are called to be risk takers, adventurers if you’d rather.
How do we begin our adventure you might ask? Well, we acquiesce. We acquiesce to the Lord. We submit ourselves to the Lord’s plan just as Mary did. That is how we begin our adventure. The task that is set before us, then, is to not just submit ourselves to the Lord once in our lifetime, but every single day. Each day we wake up we are called to acquiesce to the adventure that is following the Lord.
It’s a challenge for sure, but such a beautiful one because the Lord is so trustworthy. What I love so much about it is the ease that it brings to mind. The goal is to fall into adventure, to let the Lord take charge and be the guide. To acquiesce means to let go of control. My goal is to do a better job every day to submitting to the Lord and to watch the adventure unfold one moment at a time. I hope you’ll join me!