December 20th, 2021

The Gospel (Luke 1:26-38)

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection: I recall the time when I made the decision to commit myself into Diaconate Formation. All the signs were present, my family was OK with it, and most of all Connie was “all in too”. So, I took the first step by attending a mandatory “Information Session”. This meeting is where all the guidelines and protocol were clarified. One of the guidelines was that we had to be involved, a minimum of six months, in specific ministries before we even considered to apply. Now this Informational meeting was in January and there was one ministry that I needed to do which I did immediately. But in March (same year) I was so excited that the Holy Spirit told me to apply anyway. I recall getting a phone call from Dr. William Shaules and he said, “Ray, I thought I was clear about when you can apply. You haven’t fulfilled your six-month minimum yet.” I honestly don’t recall what my response was, but I do remember that it wasn’t a good one. So, I thought that I blew it. In June (same year) I was accepted into the next years consortium for Diaconate Formation.

The church and its people use the word “Discernment” way too much in my opinion. They say, “Let me discern on it” which requires time to think about it. I was told to discern my commitment to formation, but the truth is I already did!

One thing we see within these words is that our Blessed Mother is offering her complete consent to something that she does not understand.  The archangel gives a brief explanation to her but, if you honestly analyze this situation, what the angel says is beyond belief for most people.  It’s also fair to conclude that the archangel’s explanation was not what convinced our Blessed Mother.  She didn’t listen to these words, analyze them, consider how likely they were or were not, and then decide if she would believe.  No, she listened, pondered, and then immediately consented to the words spoken.  “Let it be done to me according to your word” she said.  She didn’t say, “Let it be done to me insofar as I understand what you mean.”  Our Blessed Mother’s faith was one that knew the truth without having to fully understand it.  This is a gift!

Sometimes you just need to TRUST. Trust your instinct, trust your heart, and trust your Faith in God. He will never let you go astray. 

Action of the Day: Do you trust God more than you trust your own human reason?  Are you willing to move forward in life by faith rather than by your limited human reason alone?  Strive to imitate the pure faith-knowledge of our Blessed Mother.  She knew the truth because it was spoken in her heart.  And as she listened, she consented and embraced the holy will of God.  We must do the same.

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