Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent

“My spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant.”
I can’t understand Mary’s willingness in her response to God. I am often filled with many questions and fears. I like to plan things out, analyze things, and be in control of everything around me.  I could never quite understand this exchange between Mary and God. A few years ago, a personal encounter with a priest before Mass changed that.
When I arrived at Mass, the priest saw me and his first reaction was, “Oh there you are! I was hoping you were coming. I need your help.” He wanted to draw out the importance of Mary’s “yes” in today’s Gospel and help the parish understand this responsiveness to God in our own lives. He had come up with this great idea to have me carry the statue of the baby Jesus in the entrance procession, place it in the crèche, and sit down in my seat like normal.  At the start of his Homily, I would go and take the baby away. He thought the visual of someone taking the baby away from the crèche would be provocative, and highlight the incredible role that Mary’s openness played in the Incarnation.  
I do not remember the words of his homily, but what is seared in my memory is his joy in sharing his scheme with me. It mattered that I had come. It mattered that I participated in this Eucharist. And for that one moment I glimpsed God’s joy in inviting Mary to be a collaborator in His plan.  My one small part mattered in his bigger plan. It seemed very insignificant, but he took such delight in asking me to participate, and I in turn was excited to help him make his vision come alive in some small way.  
Can I imagine a God who looks it me so lovingly and so excited to share His delight with me? I am as excited as He is to share in this plan?

reflected by Jen Horan

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