Handle with Grace
Have you ever had a really bad day, the kind that you know you'll probably explode on someone at some point, from the very beginning? Well, today was one of those days for me, struggling with people and technology at work, facing the impossible with ongoing struggles. You get the urge to yell, to scream at someone, to find a source of blame, and yet, you continue to smile, and keep your cool. During these challenging days, we need to remember that we are not the only ones engulfed in the situation of struggle, that those around us to are being put to similar trying tests, and not become inward focussed. Think about Mary's situation as the angel comes to her, bringing news that she will be pregnant, out of marriage, at such a young age. Talk about trying situations. However, she handles it with grace, with complete trust in God, setting an example for us all.
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"' (Luke 1:26-33).
Think about today's passage. Mary is told that she will have a Son who will be God's Son, who will do great things. She shows us how we need to act, especially in the most challenging situations. As Catholics, we represent God in everything we do, and how we act. It's important to handle ourselves with grace, like Mary, and trust that God will help us through. Take some time to ask God to help you handle struggling situations with grace like Mary.
Today's prayer comes from 'Our Catholic Prayers' a prayer for patience in tough situations:
Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in all the events of my life, in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me forget myself so that I may enjoy the happiness of others. Let me always hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path. Let me so use it that it may mellow me, not harden or embitter me; that it may make me patient, not irritable; that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow or proud or overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble, for having been a fellow traveler with me on our journey towards eternal life. As I meet with one cross after another, let me whisper a word of love to You. May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good, and strong in its purpose of sanctity. Amen.