Reflection for Saturday, December 12, 2009: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Tinley, Susan
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Today's gospel (Luke 1:26-38) provides such a beautiful picture that I can imagine myself as an invisible onlooker. Mary is going about her usual daily activities, perhaps preparing a meal. I can smell the food cooking and there is a warmth within her home. But it is not just the physical warmth that comes from her cooking, it is a kind of warmth that surrounds our hearts. There is an atmosphere of gentleness, peace and joy within this house. Suddenly Mary is startled by the presence of a stranger whose greeting does not make sense to her. He reassures her; she is more easily reassured than I am. I am very suspicious and frightened by this stranger. I am distrustful of anyone who is different and even more so if that person invades my space.|But wait, there is something about this stranger and the message he is relaying to Mary; there is a sense of importance. Why is he telling her she has found favor with God? In this time and place, it is especially unexpected for a woman to be singled out as having won the favor with anyone important, let alone with the Almighty God!|The rest of the message from this stranger is even more fantastic, telling Mary that she will conceive and bear a son. Mary doesn't even believe that since she has "had no relations with a man" and she tells him so. Again he answers her concerns with calm certitude that it will be by the power of the Holy Spirit that she will bear the Son of God. This is indeed a kind, gentle woman; but she is also an obscure peasant. Why would she be selected for this most auspicious role? Surely she will say no, not me. She has to know that being the mother of the Son of God is more than she can handle. But, she does not say no. She says yes - not a cocky yes that comes from self-importance, but a yes that comes from her total humility and trust in God. And she knows that God will be with her when she has to tell her fianc and eacute; about this fantastic occurrence and when people whisper behind her back.|This is the kind of yes that I want to be able to say. I pray to Mary to teach me her gentle, loving ways; to help me find peace and joy in the little things; and to develop the humble trust that would allow me to say "May it be done to me according to your word" no matter what comes my way, always knowing that I am never alone.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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