Friday, December 07, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favor! The Lord is with you.' … Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it be with me as you have said.' And the angel left her (Luke 1:26-28, 38).
When the angelic messenger came to Mary, he was not speaking just to her. He was speaking to all of us, “Rejoice, favored one. The Lord is with you.”
You are favored more than you know. For you, too, are Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Mary is all of us. She is the model of our humanity and the key to the mystery of our souls. She reveals our proper destiny, our greatest joy and most profound sorrow.
We are to bear the divine life of God in our mortal flesh.
Like her, we each are pregnant with the sacred seed of God’s gracious life and love, the God seed, planted deep within us.
We each are to be the mother of God, nurturing divine life within our hearts that Christ may live in us--and we may become the soul we are created to be.
The mystery of Christ’s birth among us is not so much a story to be believed … or rejected; it is a life to be received and cherished in the depth of your being.
For if Christ be born a thousand times in Bethlehem, what difference does it make … if he is not born also in us?
Mary shows the way. She bows in humility and trust, “Here I am, the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me according to your word.”
Let it be. This is Mary prayer … and ours.
“Let it be. I cannot control the future. I do not know where life will lead or what the new year will bring. So let it be, Lord, according to the word of your promise. May the life you are grow in me that I, too, may be your dwelling place.”
Some of the most precious moments of my day are spent in a basement office, listening to gentle music. It opens up space in my noisy heart that I may hear the Lord’s voice speaking, “I am with you, closer than you imagine. I am the seed of divine life in your own heart.”
Then, with Mary, I pray, “Let it be with me as you will.” And Christ is born again.
For prayer and reflection
· What ideas, feelings, hopes and memories are awakened by today’s reflection?
· How can you nurture Christ’s life within you? What people, places and practices help? How do you hinder Christ’s birth within you? What gets in the way?
· Quietly read and repeat Mary’s words in Luke 1:38: Here I am; the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” What is awakened in your heart and mind?
The angel Gabriel from heaven came, with wings as drifted snow, with eyes as flame; “All hail to thee, O lowly maiden Mary, most highly favored lady.” Gloria!
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head. To me be as it pleaseth God, she said. My soul shall laud and magnify God’s holy name. Most highly favored lady. Gloria!
(“The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came”, Sabine Baring-Gould, 1955)