“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