"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Challenge: Say "YES" to God!
Can you imagine yourself in Mary's place? Can you imagine being visited by an angel and being asked to follow a divine plan. On that wondrous night, Mary was asked to take on something that would change her life forever....asked to accept something that she knew would cause conflict within her world. Imagine yourself there in Mary's place. Imagine the confusion within her young heart. But still, despite her fear and her questions, she accepted God's call and guidance for her life. Picture yourself in her place.....why? Because we are in that place of accepting God's call every day. There may not be an angel we can see, but someone or something is appearing in front of us daily, encouraging us forward on our spiritual journey.
Mary's acceptance of her call teaches us what it means to live by faith. Despite her fears and uncertainty, she answered "Yes". Even though she knew it would disrupt her daily course of life, she answered "Yes". Are we able to respond to God this way? As we reflect on the Annunciation and Mary's acceptance of her call, we need to reflect on our own calling from God. Every time we say the Our Father, we pray, "thy will be done". Do we really mean those words?
"Be it done unto me according to your word."
Marys beautiful answer to her call.......Can we do the same? Think about it this way. God's gifts to us, our very own talents will be brought forward in our lives when we can receive and welcome a deeper relationship with Him. He has gifted us and we need to find the courage to say “yes.” That deep friendship with God will encourage us to come alive to the world, to be true to ourselves., to be the one he formed in our mother's womb.
We may not always understand where God is leading us. We might not understand why something is happening that tests our strengths. But God has given us Mary as an example of trust and the kind of faith that isn't afraid to be inquisitive. She wanted to understand more, and so she asked the angel, “how can this be?” She needed something to hold onto. And the angel gave her what she needed to hear. ...”The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” and then the words most important of all, for Mary and for us, ...........”.for nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary embraced and welcomed God's Word in the fullest sense. No, we most likely will not have angels appearing to us on our doorsteps, but remember, we encounter God daily. We encounter God in our prayers. We encounter God in the people we meet.......God speaks to each and everyone of us in ways we, personally, can understand. Do you hear His whispers? Are you ready to say, "Yes" and accept His invitation. Are you ready to trust in His providence, even if you can't see the path ahead? Look to Mary with your questions and your fears. She knows exactly how we feel.
Pope Benedict XVI made a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Annunciation, this is the prayer he offered to the humble Blessed Mother.
"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."
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
By: Mary Maddox and Kathleen Aparo. A mother daughter team working for Our Lord. Your fellow pilgrims on this path.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
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