“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38a)
Mary’s obedience to God is unprecedented. Without a shadow of doubt, she accepted the challenge of the Angel Gabriel, who was the same messenger sent to herald the news to Zechariah (in yesterday’s Gospel). The Blessed Mother’s attitude is one of a true servant of God, her attention to serve God was full and complete. She didn’t hesitate, unmindful of what this meant, but dedicating her life to serve no matter the cost.
What would you have done if what happened to Mary happened to you? Would you believe the angel? I’m certain you’re not sure what your response would’ve been. Mary portrayed confidence in her answer and showed her total devotion to God. After being “greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be”, Mary found the courage to ask a question. In her innocence, humility and purity of heart, Mary truly believed. She had faith and never doubted.
“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 called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”
The Gospel (Lk. 1: 26-38) in this Fourth Sunday of Advent exhorts us to believe the presence of God in our lives. Regardless of the situation we are facing now, let us realize that we are being used by God to do good to others. The Lord needs you to be a part of His miracles, whether it be a sick relative, a problematic child, or an unreasonable colleague at work. When you accept your daily challenges, your happiness will unfold as you become part of the process.
Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, shared a beautiful story of his friend, who is a father to three children — all with autism. When Fr. Armand asked him how he managed bringing up his children, the reply was,
“Father, ewan ko nga eh, paano namin nakakayanan ni misis, pero sila yung ibinigay ng Diyos, makakayanan namin. Hindi kami pababayaan ng Diyos. Ibinigay Niya ito.” (I really don’t know Father, how me and my wife managed these, but they were the ones given to us by God, we will go through this. God will not abandon us.)
What a beautiful answer! Fr. Armand said,
“Walang imposible sa Panginoon. Kahit gaano kahirap, gaano kadilim ang buhay, may mangyayari at mangyayari diyan. Kailangan lang natin makisabay sa Panginoon, tayo ang alipin, tayo ang katiwala, sa atin Niya ibinigay ano man iyan. (Nothing is impossible with God. No matter how difficult, how dark life is, something good will come out of these. All we have to do is to walk with the Lord, we are the servants, we are the stewards, He gave these to us.)
Bakit kailangan ko pang sumali Panginoon? (Why do I have to work with you, Lord?)
“Para malasahan ninyo, para tunay yung kaligayahan mo, kasi kasama kayong magluto.” (So you can experience it, so that your happiness will be true, because you’re part of the process.)
In this Fourth Sunday of Advent, let us reflect on our humility and obedience to the will of God. Are we humble to listen to God speaking through His messengers? Are we willing and freely-giving our obedience to Him? Are we sharing in the miracles God is performing to others?
Let us pray that our obedience to Him be complete, total and loving, so that we fully participate in His work now and for as long as we live.
“For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” (Ps.89: 2a)