Change Your Life
During this time of preparation in the Advent season, it is important to remember the story of Jesus' coming. It is less about the actual birth of Jesus, and more about what leads up to his birth, saying yes to God. The birth narrative of Jesus is, for the most part, about Mary, and having the strength to accept God's will and follow through. Mary doesn't really have time to consider everything God is asking of her. She is told outright that she will have a son, God's son. From there, it all depended on her reaction. Can you imagine the strength it would take to change your entire lifestyle and say yes to God's will, no matter where it would lead you? Think about the lives of the disciples since Jesus' time. Each of them were changed because of their faith and followed God's will, many teaching the Good News. How are we asked to be like Mary and prepare ourselves for God?
Today's Gospel states:'In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "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, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her'(Luke 1:26-38).
In today's Gospel we hear how an angel comes to Mary and tells her she is going to bear God's Son. She is told that with God, nothing could be impossible as even Elizabeth became pregnant through the spirit of God. We see in this story how anything is possible when we accept God's will, as long as we live in faith. In the time of Advent, we prepare for Jesus' coming, but we should also prepare to respond like Mary to God's will for our lives, whatever it may be. Take some time to reflect on how you can prepare yourself to be accepting to God's will during this Advent season.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholic Prayers' a prayer of abandonment:
Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I do love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Amen.