We are on the final stretch of Advent. (This year we are blessed with second longest Advent possible, 27 days.)
First, it’s good to remember that the infancy narratives were the last part of the Gospels to take shape; the passion/death/ resurrection narratives were the first. Only after people began to imitate Jesus’ dying and rising actions did they begin to reflect on his birth and infancy. (from Celebration 2012) Now back to Advent. One of the central figures of Advent is Mary. Luke’s account of the annunciation is proclaimed at least three times throughout Advent.
The account not only speaks of Mary’s holiness but also our call to holiness.
The gospel writer Luke, places Mary’s importance not on being the mother of God, but rather that she does what Jesus expects all his followers to do: hear Gods’ word and carry it out. Take for instance from the annunciation scene itself where Mary says, “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Notice how freely Mary says yes to God. You hear no fear, no pride, no false humility in her voice.
In these last days of Advent we are invited to reflect, how do I hear God’s word and carry it out? What, if anything is holding me back responding to God’s word in my life? What might be causing my fear, my pride, my false humility --- what others are thinking about me, the sacrifice that is being asked of me, my self reliance?