Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Calendar - December 8, 2012

Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

Reflection by Sister Rebecca Ann Mathauer
Teacher, St. Joan of Arc Catholic School in Indianapolis, Indiana

As I reflect on today’s Gospel passage, many things come to mind: peaceful waiting, uncertainty, wonder and awe, fear, trust, love, surrender. All of these describe what Mary and Joseph must have felt when they were asked to take on responsibility for this holy child. The Angel Gabriel comes to Mary and says, “Don’t be afraid, for the Holy Spirit comes upon you and fills you with grace.” Don’t worry, the Spirit is with you, God will give you all that you need as you wait for the child to be born. God will give you what you need as you raise this child into adulthood.

I imagine what must have gone through Mary’s mind: Why me? Am I worthy? How am I going to do this? What will people think? What will Joseph think? What will my family think? What will happen to me? What will happen to us?

I think of what must have gone through Joseph’s mind: Am I ready for this responsibility? What will people say about Mary and me? Where will we go? We have no home yet. How will we raise this child? Where will we raise this child? Will we become outcasts? How will we do this?

In the midst of their fear and questions, their whole-hearted response to the call is a powerful reminder of what complete trust is all about.

Joseph takes his own leap of faith and says “yes” to Mary and this child. He could become an outcast and isolated from all that he knows; yet he takes the risk and takes Mary and this child to become a family. Mary, probably afraid of being ridiculed and sent away from her family and all that she has ever known, responds with faith and incredible openness as she says: “Yes, Lord, let it be done unto me according to YOUR Word.”

This story touches me more deeply with each year. The trust and depth with which Mary and Joseph respond to their call is something that I strive to learn in my own daily living. When I pray this passage each year, I am reminded of the wonder of God’s love for us. Though we don’t always understand God’s call at first, like Mary and Joseph, we are given the grace and the courage to trust in what God is asking of us. The challenge is to respond with peaceful surrender like Mary did.

Loving and most gracious God, as we listen for your voice and hear your call, may we respond with wholehearted trust, love, and peaceful surrender, as Mary and Joseph did. “Let it be done unto me according to YOUR Word, O God.” As we wait with patience and hope for the coming of Jesus this Advent season, may our hearts be filled with joyful anticipation. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment