Daily Reflection
March 25th, 1999
Larry Gillick, S.J.
The Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Isaiah 7:10-14
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38


It is three months today since Christmas and so it is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the day of Mary's conceiving of Jesus. "Sacrifice and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me."  It is the day of the Word of God taking flesh and this through the body of aJewish woman who echos the words of the psalmist, "I have come to do Your will, O God."

In today's celebration of this feast within the Roman Catholic liturgy, we heard an Advent prophecy foretelling a virgin's giving birth to a child whose name will mean "God is with us."   Then in the gospel we view a young woman struggling with the giving of her body and life to the mystery of actually giving life to a body.

One week from today the Christian community begins its reflection upon, and celebration of, how the Word of God made flesh gives His life so that all might live anew.  During those days we will watch a surrendering of will even to death.  "By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ, once for all."

Today we watch the acceptance in faith of the invitation to do God's will by a questioning young woman of Nazareth.  She has good questions and excuses, as do all those who have been called to surrender to God's ways.  She is not married and yet she is asked to be a mother.  To complicate matters, she is to be the mother of God, the God Who is with us, "Immanuel."  Mary responds with a profound, but simple, "I am the maid-servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you say."  Let it be done, such a prayer of surrender.

Next week we will watch Mary at the foot of the cross as she listens to her surrender again, "Let it be done, let it all be done."  Mary received the announcement, her confusion, her invitation, her instrumentality and the dignity of being a maid-servant all as a way of being relational with God.  She lived it all out in receptivity and faith.

Here near the end of Lent, we are confronted with God's invitations to us to do, what we believe is doing the "will of God."  We do not have angels announcing that will to us, but we do believe we have God's grace to sense, and respond to, the invitations to give Grace a space and a face.  To do God's will is to make human choices which reflect our belief that what we are doing is God's Will.  As with Mary, we trust that what we are doing is what God wills.  Trusting then is God's will, trusting that God will be freed.

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