Written on: December 14, 2020
Advent seems to be such a lovely period of the liturgical year. There is a feeling of expectation and yearning, beautiful passages from scripture are read every day, the news is replete with stories of people helping or gifting one another, and twinkling, colorful lights appear on houses. The season of Advent is too brief, almost ending before we soak in its beauty.
Several times during these weeks we have heard the story of Gabriel’s visit to Mary. It is familiar to us and so we think we understand it’s message. It was certainly startling for the young girl, Mary, and she must have been confused and excited at the same time. I imagine she was quite perplexed about how she would explain her circumstances, especially to Joseph and her parents. Perhaps she did not know it, but it was her acceptance that would set the stage for the coming of the Messiah and for the events of the remainder of her life. Mary’s willingness in spite of her misgivings led to Christmas and, ultimately, to Calvary. Her “yes” was a costly one.
Often, we fail to recognize that Gabriel’s message was initiated by God. God always initiates. We sometimes try to do things that we think will be pleasing to God, while ignoring the life circumstances that God places us in.
It takes a quiet and loving heart to see what is right before us, or in us.
Our lives are filled with everyday situations which we ignore easily, because they seem uncomfortable or mundane, yet it is there where our invitation lies. We fail to recognize declining health, our familiar surroundings, opportunities to use our hidden gifts or talents, a relationship seeking forgiveness or strengthening, as invitations from God which will in turn invite us to deeper union.
As we approach the final days of Advent and prepare for Christmas, let us ponder these thoughts:
As we approach Christmas this year, let us be reminded that God-with-us makes even the impossible possible!
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Sister Denise Roche, GNSH is the current President of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. A buffalo native, she was President of D’Youville College for 36 years, and also a Buffalo Bills fan (and not just this year). Sr. Denise enjoys long walks and believes she does her best thinking then.
Featured image courtesy of Jude Beck/Unsplash