(While in high school, I was chosen by my classmates to be the May Queen. One of my duties was to write a short reflection on what Mary means to me. Here is what I wrote for the occasion.)
When I think about the influence Mary has had on my life I think of all the qualities that have made her an excellent role model. Through out her life she exhibited many wonderful virtues. When she was only a teenager, like many of us here, an angel came to her and asked her to accept the awesome responsibility of being the mother of God's son. She said yes and from this I learned to always be faithful and trust in God.
Then came the task of informing Joseph, her betrothed, that she was with child. How would he react to such news? If Mary had any fears of Joseph's reaction she didn't heed them. She told him of the upcoming birth of Jesus and from this I learned courage.
For the next 30 some years Mary cared for Jesus. She watched him grow from her little baby to a man who would save the world by giving his life. From her I learned dedication to your family.
Eventually it came time for Jesus to begin His Father's work and to go out into the world. It was probably hard for Mary to let her little boy go, for despite his age I imagine his mother still sometimes saw him as a child, the way our parents sometimes do. Once again she put all her faith in God as Jesus went out to begin his mission to bring the love of God to people.
A few years passed and Mary faced the greatest loss for a mother. She watched as her child was nailed to a cross and she watched as the man she had helped bring into the world took his last breath. In the midst of what is for me the single most powerful event in the history of the world Mary taught me the most important lesson. No matter how bad things look and how much your heart is breaking God is there and he will never leave you. Thank you and God bless.