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Advent 2nd Sunday,Dec.5,10

dvent 2nd S,Dec.5,10

Advent 2nd S.Dec.5,10

Today, on this second Sunday of Advent, we are called to reflect on the life, words and the response of the Blessed Virgin Mary for a fuller understanding of the spiritual preparedness for the celebration of Christmas. Is there any life more worthy, is there any response more appropriate than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary to reflect on in this liturgical season? Through her words, “‘Thy will be done”, Mary surrenders herself totally to the will of God and her surrender becomes the prototype of the life of every disciple of Christ.

The words that Mary said in response to the annunciation form the most magnificent responses that man ever gave to God’s initiative: “Thy will be done.” In those few words, we come to experience her unreserved and total surrender to the will of God. This unique response has made her the most beautiful person in the history of mankind. Her life has evoked admiring responses from poets and saints in the course of centuries. Robert Southwell calls her, “the loadstar of all engulfed in worldly waves.” To Wordsworth, “she is tainted nature’s solitary boast.” To the Metaphysical poet, Donne, she is the “fair blessed mother-maid “ who has “immensity cloistered in her dear womb.”

The angel Gabriel who breaks the news of the birth of John the Baptist is the same angel who comes to Mary and announces the great and happy news of the birth of the Savior. The angel addresses Mary with words that never have been used to address a member of the human race: “ Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with you.” She is unspoiled and untouched by sin.—she is full of the grace of God. To the humble maiden who has not yet been married but only betrothed, the angel announces that she would bear forth the Son of the Almighty.

For a young girl, growing up in a rigid society with its own strict rules of moral conduct and behavior, to grasp the full meaning of those words is totally frightening. The shame, the alienation, the ostracism, the gossip and everything else that would accompany these to tarnish her character before her family as well as before the society were definitely in her mind as she listened to the words of the angel. But there was no trepidation in her voice. There was no hesitancy in giving her consent. She pronounced the words that have within them tremendous implications for the salvation and peace of the human race. “ I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let thy will be done in my life.” Those words, though said in the silence of her house have broken the barriers of centuries and still resound in our ears as the words of the wisest person in the world; “Lord, it is your will that is important. I am here to follow you, to obey you. You have the freedom to work through me. I am your beloved daughter.”

This season of Advent places before us Mary’s response to help us to prepare ourselves spiritually and emotionally for the celebration of Christmas. Every day in our lives, we confront a lot of difficulties and challenges. Sicknesses, financial disasters, loss of name, false accusations, loss of hopes, loss of jobs etc are the grim realities that we confront daily in our lives. How should we respond to these situations? We can either respond to them positively, seeing in our difficulties the hand of God, guiding us or retreat from them, blaming everybody else.

Mary has shown us the path we should choose. If we have faith in the Lord, He will come to our aid, and His loving arms will be around us to offer us protection from dejection and pain. Our surrender to the will of God does not come from our weakness but from the strength of our faith, from our belief that that the loving Lord will never forsake us, however stormy and turbulent our life is.
The following prayer of Karl Rahner which in fact is a reproduction of the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola is very appropriate for all of us who try to imitate Mary in this season of Advent: “O Lord, our prayer is the sum of all desire and of all prayer: Take and receive , O Lord, my whole freedom, my memory, my understanding and my whole will, all that I have and possess. …All is yours, dispose of it entirely according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace, for that is enough.”


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