"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
By: Fr. Thomas Rosica
Standing in the middle of the present day city of Nazareth is the mammoth Basilica of the Annunciation, built around what is believed to be the dwelling of Mary. In a grotto-like room at the heart of the basilica is a small inscription on an altar. It reads, "verbum caro hic factum est," here the Word became flesh. There, it is believed, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and her response changed the world forever.
Imagine yourself in Mary's place, asked to say "yes" to a divine plan so vast, so profound and so seemingly impossible that you cannot comprehend it. "How can this be?" she asks, bewildered. She is rooted in the faith of her ancestors, and yet now an angel has appeared in the midst of everyday life, extending a startling invitation. "You have found favor with God," the angel says, "and you will conceive and bear His Son." Will she accept?
It is Mary above all others who can teach us what it means to live by faith, and how to respond when God's providence disrupts the daily course of our lives, overturning its rhythms and expectations. Despite her fears and uncertainty over how this promise could be fulfilled, she still answered "Yes." Are we able to respond to God this way?
When we reflect on the Annunciation to Mary, and her acceptance of the angel's message, we also reflect on our own vocation -- our own calling from God. In the Lord's Prayer, we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" -- an echo of Mary's "Be it done unto me according to your word." Each time we commit ourselves to embracing God's call and accepting His will, we mark a new point on the path of our relationship with Him. For the rest of her life, Mary pondered her extraordinary encounter with God, turning the weight of the angel's message over and over again in her heart. From the manger to the cross, Mary's life was radically changed -- her relationship with God profoundly deepened -- the moment she said "Yes."
Mary received and welcomed God's Word in the fullest sense -- becoming impregnated with it, and bearing it to the world. Angels might not appear in our doorsteps, but we do encounter God in each of our daily prayers, and he whispers to us a similar invitation: Will we accept His love and bring it joyously to those around us? Will we trust in His providence, even when we can't see the path ahead? Amid the noise of everyday life, will we listen for and embrace his call?
When making his pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Annunciation, Pope Benedict XVI offered this prayer to the humble Virgin of Nazareth. It speaks for all of us who likewise seek to accept God's will with joy:
Mary, Mother of the "Yes," you listened to Jesus, and know the tone of his voice and the beating of his heart. Morning Star, speak to us of him, and tell us about your journey of following him on the path of faith.
A question for today:
When have I felt that God was calling me to something greater than myself? When have I succeeded, and when have I failed, in accepting His will? What was the outcome of those situations?
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
All Advent Angels Annunciation Bedtime Prayer Be Present Be True To Yourself Bible Bible Verse Blessed Mother Blessed Mother Teresa Blessings Camino Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage Charity Christ Christian Christmas Compassion Contemplation Daily Advent Inspirational Challenges Daily Devotional Daily Reading Reflections Daily Reflections Dear Pilgrim Die To Self Divine Love Divine Mercy Do Not Judge Dr. Wayne Dyer Encouragement Faith Faith In God Faith In The Lord Fasting Father Donald Calloway Reflection Finding Yourself Forgiveness Gifts God Gods Guidance God's Love Gods Love Gods Love Good Friday Gratitude Healing Healing Of The Family Tree Holy Land Holy Spirit Humility Ignatian Spirituality Ignatius Of Loyola Jesus Jesus ' Love Joel Osteen Journey Joyce Meyer Joy In The Lord Jr. Justice Lectio Divina Lent Lenten Reflection Letting Go Life Live In The Moment Lord Love Marianne Williamson Martin Luther King Mary Meditation Meditations Medjugorje Medjugorje Pilgrimages Mercy Miracle Morning Reflection Nazareth New Years Resolutions Night Prayer Novena Oswald Chambers Patience With God Peace Pentecost Poem Pope Benedict XVI Positive Thinking Pray Prayer Prayer For Healing Prayers For Children Prayers For The Sick Prayer To The Holy Sprit Pray For Enemies Psalm Reflection Rely On Jesus Rest Richard Rohr Self-denial Serve Others Shine Simplify Sing A New Song Sing Unto The Lord Sit With God In Silence Spirituality Spiritual Journey Stations Of The Cross St. Clare St. Francis St. Francis Xavier Storms In Life Suffering Surrender Take Care Of Yourself Thanksgiving Thirst For God Thomas Merton Trust Trust In Jesus Unjustly Virgin Mary Wait For The Lord Walk With God Worrying Bible Verse
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen
Camino De Santiago Pilgrimages Medjugorje Pilgrimages Marketplace
Prayerful Path Blog Camino de Santiago Blog Blessed Mother Guide Us
Support our ministry
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.