Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Calendar - December 20, 2012

Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke 1:26-38

Reflection by Sister Mary Claude Croteau
Monastery Services

As happens occasionally in the liturgical readings for the day, the two selections complement one another — in this case the second reading is a fulfillment of the first. In today’s first reading, Israel is in dire straits and in need of God’s help, but King Ahaz refuses to accept help — he refuses to obey the prophet’s command from God. In response, Isaiah foretells that Israel will suffer much. In spite of Ahaz’s stubbornness, however, Isaiah goes on to promise that eventually a son will be born to Ahaz — born of a virgin (in this case a virgin because she is still a child) who will save his people from their enemies. This does come to pass — Ahaz’s wife, the former virgin, bears a son who does save his people.

In the Gospel reading, Luke seems to see in the announcement of Gabriel to Mary, that she, a virgin, would bear a son, the fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise to Ahaz that a virgin would conceive and bare a son who would lead his people to salvation — in our case, to the glories of eternity with God.

Mary, like Ahaz, has trouble with this news. She is, after all, a virgin. But once Gabriel convinces her that becoming a mother is God’s will for her, she says, “May it be done to me according to God’s word.”

One lesson here for us, is to be open to God’s will even in the hardest of times — to believe that good will result if we are sincerely trying to live as we believe God wants us to live.

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