Today, on this fourth Sunday of Advent we hear the familiar Gospel story of the visit of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. It is beautifully written and expresses the great love God has for us; loving so much that He will send His Son to dwell with us. But this plan requires the assistance of a simple woman. God’s plans often involve human responses in order to come to fulfilment. He desires us to be part of His great plan.

That can seem to be an awesome responsibility, and we may believe that we are not up to what God asks of us. But God never gives us more than what we are capable of because He fills us with His divine love in the form of grace. Empowered by this great gift we can do much more than we ever imagined!

Now this is not to say we will never struggle, that we won’t fall, or that every aspect of our mission will go smoothly. Mary certainly saw her share of difficulties in raising Jesus. She was forced to flee into Egypt in order to save Jesus from the forces of King Herod. Joseph and Mary must have struggled living in exile, eking out a living in order to feed, cloth, and house themselves. Mary also felt the loss of Jesus when He was a youth, during their annual visit to Jerusalem for the Passover, when Jesus stayed
behind to dwell in His Father’s house. This mirrors the three days Jesus would be in the tomb. She found joy in finding Jesus as a youth and I’m sure was overjoyed at seeing Him resurrected. She stood by His cross as He was dying and watched Jesus suffer for us. No, Mary didn’t always have it so good.

But the key phrase of the passage I believe is when Gabriel tells Mary that “nothing will be impossible for God.” To wrap our minds around God’s greatness and ability to change lives is the first step toward our ability to surrender ourselves to Him. And that is what He desires, that each of us place total trust in Him, knowing that He will never lead us astray. We may struggle at times in this world but He will always be there with us. Because of Mary’s “yes” to God, salvation is available to us through Jesus. Say “yes” to God in what He is asking of you!s Believe that nothing is impossible for God!

Deacon Ray

Categories: Deacon Ray

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