Mary restores order in history with her resounding ‘yes’

| Deacon Kevin Abakisi | December 14, 2011 | 1 Comment

Immediately after Mary says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” history is restored to the right order.

The order of sin and hopelessness is tossed totally into darkness and God brings hope to humanity. The silence is shattered and now God can work intimately in us.

Advent is that time that we prepare in eager expectation for this salvific event of history to be made alive in us at Christmas. But preparing is not just our human project, it is a response to what God is doing.

That is what the readings in this last Sunday of Advent point to. It is not what we do that matters or will make Jesus come. The real question is: “Where will Jesus find us amidst all of our preparations?” It is not as much, “where do we find God,” as it is God working in us.

Jesus comes. Yet the fact that he comes puzzles us.

Why did God have to send his Son in the first place? Could not God have straightened out the mess of our fall from grace by simply giving orders from his throne?

Have you ever asked these questions? Even with Christ’s birth, why was he not born in gracious circumstances? Surely, the Son of God is too holy to share lowly circumstances; he deserves more. Do these circumstances around Christ’s birth make you wonder?

St. Athanasius said, “God became man that man might become god.”

That is why he came!

He made it this simple so that we might imitate his simplicity. His simplicity is his holiness, his love and his mercy. He always works according to his own plans; for “nothing is impossible for God.”

A lesson from Mary

Mary teaches us how to respond to God’s plans, especially as we approach Christmas. Her humility allows God to do what he wants to do. We desperately need Mary’s humility and her willingness to trust the incomprehensible things God does.

Christmas is that time that God also accomplishes his plan in each of us, as he did with Mary.

Where is our “yes” in God’s plan? Can God have a place in us as we celebrate Christmas and live with us? How will we imitate his simplicity by giving him to others in desperate circumstances? Can Jesus find us with the homeless people living under bridges, the lonely immigrants, the seniors in nursing homes, the prisoners, or even the babies in their mother’s wombs? Will he find us reaching out to others as he did to us?

He comes as a baby yet he is all those people we count for nothing. Where will Christ find us at Christmas?

He chooses to come in simple means that we might see the simple needs of others. Then, the work of the Holy Spirit at that first Christmas will work in us. And once again Christ will be born not only among us but within us, so that our hearts and lives will resound in praise to the only wise God. To Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever.

Deacon Kevin Abakisi is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana. His teaching parish is St. Francis De Sales in St. Paul.


Readings

Sunday, Dec. 18
Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
  • Romans 16:25-27
  • Luke 1:26-38

For reflection

During this Advent season, have you responded like Mary to God’s plan for your life?

Category: Sunday Scriptures

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