Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advent Week 2: A Woman Wrapped in Silence

As we journey through this second week of Advent, we are nourished by scripture, especially in the words of the Prophet Isaiah and in the Gospel of Matthew. We read from Isaiah: "Comfort, give comfort to my people, says the Lord. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated. Indeed she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:1-2). These words fulfill the promise God made after the sin of Adam and Eve that He would send His Son to cleanse their original sin and bring all of His creation redemption. So it is that as we journey through these days of Advent we experience the fulfillment of God’s promise as we see in the words of Isaiah and as we wait in great expectation for the coming of His Son, the infant born on Christmas Day.

Essential to God’s plan for this redemption was the Nativity of His Son, Jesus, and his plan included a young woman who God would invite to be the mother. We know that an Angel appeared to Mary and presented God’s plan to her, stunning her and having her say to the Angel "but how can this be?" We learn from the Prophet Isaiah the answer to this question when we read "The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel" (Matthew 2:23) meaning God with us. We know that Mary pondered the message of the Angel in her heart and then gave God her YES to His vocational call to her. We understand in this Advent teaching that, for Mary, pondering is what we now understand as discernment. Whether it is to the single life, the married life, or the consecrated life, God invites each of us to be a part of his plan for people of faith. When each of us hear God speaking to us, calling us to a particular way of life we, like Mary, pause and ponder--we pray and discern--and we sometimes use Mary’s words "how can this be?" And like our Blessed Mother, we give our "Yes" to God’s vocational call. We may not be as quick as Mary was. We may need to ponder much longer than did Mary. But at some point, we have to respond in faith to the invitation God gives to each of us as we fulfill the plan that He has in store for those He loves.

As we journey through these holy days of Advent, let us be, like Mary, people wrapped in silence as we ponder, pray, and listen to the will of God in our lives. Let us sooner or later respond as Mary did with our honest and heartfelt response to God’s invitation.

Written by Sister Catherine Kelly, D.C.

No comments:

Post a Comment