Praying Advent Home PageIsaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
It's all about Yes. It's about humility and being called;
it's about hearing the call and having the courage to say Yes.
In today's gospel we read the story of the Annunciation, of an
angel appearing to a young woman who is troubled and frightened by the request
from God before her - and she says Yes. Humility can be so difficult,
and yet we are invited to watch as Mary realizes there will be awkward questions,
her family will be disgraced, and certainly she must have felt pangs of fear
at the task of being mother of the Savior. And still she says, Yes.
Today in North America, we also celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In the 1531, Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a humble man in Mexico,
someone from the lowest class in the country. She asked him to go to
the palace of the Bishop of Mexico and request that the Bishop build a church
on the site where she stood. Juan Diego knew he would not have credibility
with the Bishop, but he did as she asked. When he returned without having
success with the Bishop, he begged Mary to pick someone else as her
messenger, "someone of importance, well known, respected, and esteemed, so
that they may believe in him; because I am a nobody." Mary sent him
back to the Bishop again, a task he accepted. Eventually he was believed
and the church was built.
How many times in our lives are we called to do something ...
but are sure someone else could do it better? "Please, God, don't ask
me to stand up for this injustice. It needs someone with more stature
to fight this battle." But I am being asked to stand up for the poor.
How will I respond?
"Please, Lord, don't ask me to do this. I'm not good at
being ignored or mocked and that's what will happen if I really search my
heart and listen to what you ask." Do I really have to face that kind
Jesus doesn't ask him to follow him into honor and glory. He
asked us to follow him in the humility and poverty that was his life. He
asks us to stand on the side of the poor and to accept everything that goes
with that. Only if we realize that our Yes brings us closer to Jesus
with every humiliation, can we do it with courage and faith.
Let our Yes be for the smallest things that irritate us today. Let our Yes include a way of life that stands up for the poor and patterns our lives after Jesus. And let our Yes resonate through our lives today as the readings of Zechariah shout joyfully, "Sing and rejoice...! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord."
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