Advent Reflection

Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Advent – Dec. 20, 2017

Is: 7:10-14, Ps 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 1:26-38

Reflection by Mike Magre ’83

It was just a chapter before in the Gospel of Luke that the Angel Gabriel visited Zachariah in the temple, telling him that, despite his advanced years and the advanced years of his wife, he will have a child. Zachariah asks the angel “How will I know this?” Zachariah is looking for a sign, or something to ease his doubt. He is looking for an explanation, some inside knowledge so he can decide if this is the right thing. He is of course a priest and if anyone should have some say in the matter is seems as if it should be Zachariah. Maybe in Zachariah’s mind he thinks that God does not have all the information, that God needs a little friendly advice. The Angel Gabriel answers this by making Zachariah mute until the birth of his son; lo and behold, I guess God does not need Zachariah’s advice after all … go figure.

Mary also has an appearance by the Angel Gabriel. Mary asks the question “How shall this be?” There is never any doubt in Mary’s mind that this is going to happen, or if it should happen. She is just wondering what role God would like her to play. Gabriel explains to her exactly how this is to happen, and Mary responds that she is the “handmaid of the Lord.” In a perfect act of faith, Mary says “Let it be done to me according to your word.”

What will I be like this Advent. Will I be like Zachariah, trying to figure out how I would do it? Asking God to let me in on the plan? So that I can be fully informed on how to proceed; so that I can evaluate what God wants me to do; and then decide if it will work in my schedule, or if I can pencil it in my calendar? And maybe I can give God some advice on how it really should be, or maybe I’ll try to show God how well I can do it on my own.

Or will I be like Mary, completely accepting Jesus, and giving my life over to God? Spending my time and energy not asking the why, but asking how I can be of service to God. In that way accepting the great joy of God’s presence on the earth. I hope that I can be like Mary, but if I can’t, at least I can be enough like Zachariah to shut up, listen, and know that it is all in God’s plan.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us Sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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