Jesus teaches us that denial of self in order to serve God and others is at the heart of a happy life. No one exemplifies this more completely than Mary. Although her life included suffering and sadness, she was fulfilled because she said yes to God every day.
Self denial for its own sake can be self serving. When I make a sacrifice for God or for another person, then I accept the invitation to imitate Jesus.
Dear Jesus, may I imitate You and model my life on the faithful response of Your mother. May Mary intercede for me before You, and may I say yes to You today.