Mary is a model of strength and humility. While the mission and grace given Our Lady are extraordinary, we all have a mission to carry out in response to the life and gifts given us by God. Following his death last week, Representative Elijah Cummings was remembered the son of a sharecropper who made a difference in the world, whether it was his early work in the Civil Rights Movement, his career as a lawyer or his most recent service to the people of Maryland and to the House Oversight Committee. Colleagues from both parties have remembered Cummings as a principled man, a loyal friend and a fierce advocate for justice. Determined to avoid being distracted by the political fray, Cummings resolved: “Time is precious, and I will not waste it on anything trying to distract me from my purpose and my mission.”

The praise given Cummings as the “North Star” of Congress is fitting, but the praise will ring hollow if our political leaders and all of us do not engage in reconciling speech and humble service.