Vocation Meditation -
4th Sunday of Advent, 2008
The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
And the Angel came to Mary and said, "Hail, Full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The Angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
Mary said to the Angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The Angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing is impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." Then the Angel departed from her.
In the fullness of time, God wished to fulfill His plan of salvation. His communication with humanity came through the Angel to deliver the message to our 'nature's solitary boast'... Mary. She is the favored one, blessed with grace, chosen among women to bear God's Son. Mary's vocation was revealed as an invitation to adhere to God's plan and be the Mother of the Saviour. She heard, she listened, she asked for more understanding. It wasn't a one-way communication. God always invites, provides the needed facts and waits for our response. Mary's answer was trustful, humble, sincere and obedient — the 'Yes' of faith, for the hope of all mankind.
Her 'Yes' to the Angel re-defined our humanity's collaboration with God's redemptive plan. As St. Irenaeus writes, Mary's obedience reverses the original disobedience of Eve. Mary stood for humanity that is willing to be redeemed. Mary welcomed God's plan with readiness and total abandon to do God's will after she learned that nothing is impossible with God. Mary's submission brought forth the newness of creation. Mary learned to forget the world's self-centered prayer: "Your will be changed." — and to pray the most faith-filled prayer — "Your will be done!"
My vocation is an invitation to collaborate with God's saving plan for humanity.
Do I respond with abandon and courage when I say: "Your will be done, Lord?"
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.