During the month of August we have celebrated two Marys – St Mary of the Cross MacKillop whose feast day was on 8 August and Mary the mother of Jesus whose assumption we celebrated on 15 August.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is Australia’s only saint. This makes her sound as though she was extraordinary. Well she was, in her own way but she was also an ordinary woman. She believed that the potential of every person could be discovered through education. This idea of education for everyone in the 19th century was considered radical. With energy and vision she worked to establish schools in some of South Australia’s poorest and most isolated areas.
Her work in social welfare, education and social justice has had a lasting impact.
Mary, the mother of Jesus was his first disciple. As a very young teenager, she answered the call to give birth to God’s son.
“Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants.”
She is considered Jesus’ first disciple, it was at Mary’s request that Jesus performed his first miracle, changing water into wine.
Two Marys, two humble women, two ordinary women who went on to do extraordinary things.
This week’s readings challenge us to be humble. Google’s definition of ‘humble’ is “modest without an excess of pride.” How difficult it can be sometimes to have confidence in our own strengths and abilities but to be humble at the same time. Jesus challenged the Pharisees and challenges us to look past our own accomplishments, social standing and wealth to see others as He sees them.
St Mary MacKillop didn’t judge the children that came to her school, she saw children with great potential who could accomplish even greater things with the benefit of an education. She and the other sisters worked and lived humbly with people from all walks of life.
Mary became the mother of Jesus despite the social difficulties and the eventual heartbreak that it caused her. She remained faithful and lived out God’s message humbly.
We too, are called to “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8
Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission