Living the Gospel – December 20, 2020

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We read in today’s gospel about the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to announce to her that God has chosen her to be the mother of Jesus. He says to her “Hail full of grace the Lord is with you.” You have found favor with God, do not be afraid.” Then he tells her “you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you will name Him Jesus.” He will be called the Son of God and of His kingdom there will be no end.” At this point, Mary hesitates and asks, how can this be since I have had no relations with a man? The angel replies “the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of God will overshadow you for nothing is impossible with God.” At the time, Mary had already been betroth to Joseph but not yet married. She was probably no older than 14 or 15 years old. She was also aware that when people started to notice she was pregnant and not married that she might be stoned to death as was the custom in those days. All kinds of questions come to her mind. How do you tell your parents you are pregnant? Do you tell Joseph or will he find out from the gossips in the village? Will anyone believe my story? Don’t forget the stoning. With all that on her mind, she says to the angel, “Let it be done to me according to thy will.”

How many times have you felt that God might be calling you to do something for Him and dismissed the calling with all manner of excuses and uncertainties about your abilities? I’ve lost count. With God all things are possible. So how could you fail if you have the Lord helping you? We hate to come out of our comfort zones and we tend to become complacent and lazy. Mary did not have an easy life being the mother of Jesus and having to move and hide from those who wanted to harm Him. She also had to suffer the horror of her son’s crucifixion and death on the cross. How painful was that? I try and remember to pray to Mary to help me to be more trusting and willing to say “yes” when God asks. We are God’s hands and feet on this earth. Each trembling yes that Mary whispered into God’s heart changed the world, as does our “yes” to do God’s will.

Thanks be to God

Lloyd Lapierre