“Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” (Luke 1:38)

Pausing at the words of Luke’s Gospel makes me ask the “What if” question of the day:  What indeed if Mary had said “no”?

Think about it:  Mary was afraid.  She didn’t fully understand what the Angel Gabriel was asking of her.  How could she?  But she accepted the message as the Word of God.  She placed her complete faith and trust in God and said, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

How often in our lives do we face a crossroads and have to make a difficult decision?  We pray, we seek counsel.  Then we place our trust in God and say “yes” to what we know is the only answer:  affirming all life.  Seeing Mary’s example of humility and grace can help us say “yes” when the Holy Spirit is inviting us to give witness to the power of God’s love.  She is our model.

As Christmas approaches, I have this thought:  God is incarnated in us each time we help someone through a crisis, lend a helping hand, or just say a reassuring word.  By saying “yes” to God, we have the ability to transform the world, too.  Mary’s example of trust is all we need to remember.  In time, God’s plan for us will be revealed just as it was for Mary. 

Friend, we are days away from the Nativity of Our Lord.  Accept the challenge of our faith by saying “yes;” then be hopeful.  For we are about to celebrate the promise of salvation in the Christ Child.  All because one day, many years ago, Mary said “yes.” 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 3rd Sunday

Hail, O Blessed Virgin Mother of God

Daughter of Nazareth

and glory of Your people, Israel,

help us in times of uncertainty and trial.

Be our inspiration when doubt

makes us question God’s will.

Pray for us now and forever

that we, like You, might say Yes

to God in our lives.

May we too surrender to the Holy Spirit

treasure God’s Word in our heart

give flesh to God’s Word with our lives,

offer Christ to the world

by our actions of mercy

and words of comfort and peace.

O holy Mother of God’s Incarnate Word,

intercede for us who struggle here below

and give us Your courage and strength

to stand at the foot of the cross

when our loved ones suffer and die.

Be our consolation as we make our way

to God’s kingdom when you reveal

Your divine Son to us.


Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso


We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly, Fr. Juan Montes Zúñiga)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

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L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)





(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime
The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.