“For nothing will be impossible for God.” – Luke 1:37
Today’s Gospel recalls a scene I’ve known well since childhood, a staple in my church’s annual Christmas play: the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary, announcing that she will become the mother of a boy named Jesus. It never occurred to me until recent years, though, that this could have gone quite differently. After all, God gave each of us free will, didn’t He? Mary could have just as well said “No” to this visitor who came with such a strange greeting.
What was it, then, that allowed Mary the freedom to say “Yes” in the midst of the uncertainty that was placed before her? I would imagine that the situation seemed murky at best, and probably downright scary. Yet, she was open. As we celebrate her Immaculate Conception today, we are able to see how her focus on God, away from the distractions of sin, gave way to a deep trust and confidence in His promise, His word.
Invitations come my way too, well beyond my understanding. To look at dreams, brokenness, pains, desires. They are rabbit holes and craters in my life where God wants to do some open-heart surgery and give birth to a new reality of life. It sometimes gets really scary! Yet, even though I wasn’t born without sin like Mary, I’m nudged with just enough courage to try and say “Yes” through her intercession and God's grace. I'm learning that oftentimes, it’s just to take the next step – not being able to see much more, if anything, beyond that. Yet, it’s enough. If I know that I am trying my best to stay close to God, what more do I really need to know?
What areas in my life might I be invited to take a deeper look into right now? What fears might I notice surfacing? What grace do I need to try and say “Yes”?
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us.
reflected by Quyen Ngo