Reflection from the Gospel reading for today: Luke 1:26-38

The long-awaited Messiah, God’s promised Saviour, the divinely appointed King, was the hope of the world.  For centuries, Jewish women hoped they might be the mother of the Messiah.  Although his coming was shrouded in mystery, the Messiah represented God’s most noble dream of all.  The woman God chose to be the mother of the Messiah would be the most blessed of all women. 

A humble peasant girl, Mary of Nazareth, recently engaged to a young carpenter, was the surprising choice of this coveted role.  As a young teenager, she had her world rocked by the electrifying appearance of the magnificent angel Gabriel who delivered the unbelievable news that she was the chosen one to bear the Messiah.  An innocent virgin, she didn’t respond, “How can this be for I am so young?” or “How can this be? I am illiterate.”  Rather, her response was “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel explained how the miracle of miracles would take place.  “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

The response of this simple peasant girl hints at her amazing maturity:  “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me according to your word”  (Luke 2:38)  These are heroic words of faith from a young woman who willingly gave her life and reputation to God, a woman with whom  God entrusted the life of his Son.  In Luke 2, Mary’s heart bursts with joy in her song, the Magnificat, which vividly depicts her amazement and wonder at being the chosen one.

Imagine carrying within you a budding life you know is the Son of God.  Imagine the awesome sense of responsibility she must have felt.  She must have been overwhelmed with tenderness as she nursed him and gently rocked him.  She must have been filled with pride as she watched him make the transition from boy to man, and there was probably even a hint of the proud mother when he performed his first miracle based on her request to save the day at a wedding.    But all those precious memories and tender moments with her son forged a bond of immense maternal love that was ripped asunder when she watched him gasp for his last breath, hanging on a cross by pierced hands.  Thinking it was all for naught, that his death was an unexpected end of the dream, she was stunned to find three days later – an empty tomb!  Her son was alive – risen from the dead!  Her life is a testimony of faith, of believing in the impossible!

Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed impossible….something others thought was folly?  Remember how Mary trusted God’s impossible plan?  Even though her pregnancy would be deemed illegitimate and held the threat of severing her betrothal to Joseph, she was willing to go where God led, even as far as watching her son die on the cross.  Through Mary, we learn one of life’s most important lessons – that with God all things are possible!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contributed