Finding a Hero in Mary

The English class that I took at UD last semester was all about superheroes in/and society. For our final paper, we were asked to choose someone that we think to be a hero and write about the societal hardships that they faced within that role. Naturally, I chose to write about Mary, the Mother of Jesus who I believe to be one of the greatest heroes that ever walked this earth. In this post I will share with you some of the main reasons why I think that Mary is a true superhero.

What really makes someone a hero? Is it the super power or the ways in which they use what they have to do good? Is it their place in society or the way that they have worked to overcome what makes them different in society? A true hero is anyone that uses the things that they have been blessed with in order to do good and help others no matter what challenges they must face along the way because of their differences. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a true example of such a person. Mary was a young, Jewish girl who came from a poor family and was faced with a huge challenge in her life. Despite the many social differences that Mary faced, she was a sinless woman who followed her mission from God and raised the Savior of the world.

When God sent the angel Gabriel to appear to Mary, the angel addressed her saying, “‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord with you’” (Luke 1:28). Giving Mary the title “full of grace” represents her pure and clean soul that has been without sin since her birth. While being sinless is not necessarily a “superpower”, it is something that makes Mary different than all people (besides her son, Jesus). Because of this, “Mary, then, is the one perfectly faithful creature, the one whose consent of mind and heart to God wholly corresponds to God’s entire purpose for her” (Marshall 426). The conception of this holy woman is a sign of her mission from God for which she was born. Mary responds to this call by proclaiming that she is “the Lord’s servant” (Luke 1:38), so she lets His will be fulfilled in her. This Annunciation story shows Mary’s true bravery and commitment to her heroic mission. Mary, like other heroes, is able to look past her fear and her hardships in order to accept her mission that will benefit the whole world. Just as other heroes risk their lives to save others, Mary devoted her life to raising Jesus so that the world would be saved through Him.

One of the things that sets Mary apart from many heroes is that she was very young when she received her call and mission because “God put himself, literally, into the hands of a faithful teenage girl, trusting her to participate in the fulfillment of his greatest mission on earth” (Johnson 15). This young girl, who was only 15 or 16 years old at the time, was made aware of her heroic mission during the Annunciation in which “the Lord went directly to the woman. God did not go to her husband until later, and then only to confirm what he had already told her and what she had accepted by faith” (Johnson 15). Not only was Mary a young teenage girl that was told she would bare a son but she was a young teenage girl that would become pregnant without her husband. When the angel appeared to her and told her that she would bare a son, Mary asked “‘How will this be...since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1: 34). Mary was a virgin that became pregnant but this would have been a big controversy in society since it would imply that she conceived the child with a man other than her husband. Before an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, he “did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19). In reality, this baby was conceived by Mary through the power of the Spirit; the angel tells her, “‘the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you’” (Luke 1:35). All of this was a part of Mary’s mission that she accepted from God.

It was always very hard and frightening for Mary to raise a son that was divine and human because she had to fully trust in God’s plan for him no matter what happened. Mary also had to watch her son be crucified on a cross. How terrifying and heart-wrenching! Mary knew that this was a part of God’s plan for Jesus so she said ‘yes’ yet again to this call from God to let His will be done in the life of her son too. As he hung on the cross waiting to die, “Jesus saw his mother there” (John 19:26). We don’t hear of many heroes that are mothers, especially not mothers of a Savior that becomes the Mother of a whole Church.

Mary is a hero because of the good that she literally brought into this world through the birth of her son. She used her life and her pure heart to do good even as she faced the challenges of being a young woman that was presented with an important and frightening mission. Because of Mary’s ability to overcome the social differences that she was presented with, we can see that “the truth of the biblical Mary is that God comes directly to individuals regardless of gender, moral perfection, and hierarchical position in the church and offers salvation with no strings attached so that God can work his wonders through ordinary people whom God loves. Just as Mary accepted the Lord’s proposal, so can any human being. The faith that was conceived in Mary can be conceived in every human heart” (Johnson 15). This great woman provided for the Savior that saved each of our lives from the death that is brought from our sin. She, herself, was sinless but still said ‘yes’ to her mission from God to raise the Savior so that every other human could be saved from their sins. It is now said that “the more like Mary we become, the more we depend on her, the more we will understand” (Marshall 433). Mary now acts as a loving Mother that inspires people to use their lives for good and to have faith in God’s plan for them. She shows us that we can all be heroes through our faith and love for others, no matter what challenges we face along the way.      

(The Sacred heart of Mary)

(Tony Stark with arc reactor)

In these images, Mary resembles Tony Stark (who is the hero Iron Man) as they each have glowing hearts. The image of the heroine shows her most pure and sacred heart that she used as her power to bring strength to the world. The image of Iron Man shows a human with an artificial heart that helps him to save the world as well. Only Mary, the Mother of Christ, with her real and sacred heart could become a biblical hero and Mother of the world.

 Written by: Victoria Schoen
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