This is What MARY Spells Out
Young Catholics must “enter into the school of Mary”, especially as the Church prepares for next year’s Synod of Bishops on the Youth and Vocations, a bishop told about 80 young Catholic leaders from Southern Africa’s 29 dioceses.
The youth need to be inspired by Mary and look to her as their model, Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp said at a Mass for youths and members of the Association of Catholic Tertiary Students in Mariannhill, KwaZulu-Natal.
To give more emphasis to the importance of Mary, Bishop Phalana used the letters in the name “Mary” and explained what they represent.
“The letter ‘M’ stands for the meekness of Mary, which does not mean weakness, but instead strength of character,” he said.
“A meek person is teachable, and yields to God’s will. He or she is humble and gentle in relations with others, but strong enough not to be shaken by the challenges of life.
“Those who are meek are able to solve problems, and to forgive others who have wronged them. They do not let anger control them, and are respectful and responsible,” Bishop Phalana explained.
“The ‘A’ in Mary represents her availability to God,” the bishop said, encouraging young people to always be available for the work of God as Mary was.
He thanked the young people present for their sacrifice for the sake of the Church.
“The ‘R’ in Mary represents the reliability of Mary,” Bishop Phalana said, urging young people to always be reliable and take their commitments seriously.
“Don’t wait to be asked to lead but instead take the responsibility,” he encouraged the youth.
“The ‘Y’ in Mary,” Bishop Phalana explained, “represents her full ‘Yes’ to God, and this ‘Yes’ changed the course of history.”
Mary did not give a “half-yes” to God but a full “yes”, and young people should give their full “yes” too.
The youth leaders met the bishops to discuss their successes and challenges in society and the Church too, and to assess how the ministry to young people can be improved.
The meeting also served to prepare for Mini World Youth Day in Durban from December 3-10, the Synod of Youth in October 2018, and World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019.