Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ready or Not...

The Angel’s message found her heart ready, and the Word became flesh, and in the holy room of her motherly heart, the earth grew far beyond its limitations into the human-divine sphere. There are the holiest comforts of Advent.
-Father Delp

In a world that was dark and suffering, an angel spoke words that forever changed history. A lowly handmaid who was younger than most of us, said yes to God who wanted to become man. God prepared her and at the perfect moment sent his messenger to reveal her destiny. How was it that she was able to say yes so willingly? How was it that she didn’t ask tons of questions, or even take time to think about it? A simple “let it be done” was all she had and in an instant she became the Mother of God.

This might be a good time to wish you all a happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This is truly a joyous day and one of my favorites of the Church year. What we celebrate today is why Mary was so willing and trusting when the angel appeared to her. God formed her in her mother’s womb free from all sin. How perfect and beautiful was Mary in the womb of St. Anne! It only makes sense that if she was going to be the Mother of God, that she be spared the stain of sin and death. God prepared her to say yes to Him, and her heart was so overwhelmed with grace and beauty that she responded with her whole self.

I don’t think this is breaking news to anyone, but we are not perfect. Even though some of our moms think we are, it is not the case. So if we are not perfect and were not immaculately conceived they how do we play this game? I thought you would never ask. Believe it or not, God has also prepared us to say yes to Him as well. Through grace and the sacraments, the Lord’s works to convert our hearts and open us to respond in our own lives as Mary did. But the other important notion we must all remember is how Mary was READY.

“Those who wait for you will not be disappointed” -Psalm 25:3

My friends, Advent is about waiting, and this is not a waiting because we are bored and have nothing else to do. This is a waiting that prepares and becomes ready for the Lord who is coming to meet us. Mary was found ready because she was hungering and longing for her God to come. She was very aware of the Old Testament prophecies that foretold the Messiah coming to save the Jewish people. Believing with her whole heart, purifying herself from sin, and living rightly among her family and community, Mary was ready to receive Him. Little did she know she would be His mother and bear Him in her womb, but she was ready when becoming the Savior’s mother was God’s plan for her.

If God came today would you be found ready? A true waiting is a true longing, and a true longing is doing everything necessary to be ready when the time comes. For us, let us start this Advent by not only putting down the weapons that separate ourselves from Jesus and others, but challenging ourselves to get ready for the Lord. This begins with realizing that at every moment the Lord wants to come into our lives.

This Advent we must also make a good examination of conscience and look at the areas of our lives where we need to purify ourselves from sin, removing that darkness that keeps us from being prepared to receive the Lord. Lastly, let us reflect upon our family relationships and other friendships and ask ourselves if the people close to us are helping us become truly ready for the coming of Jesus.

What an amazing day to reflect about Mary’s life. She was conceived to bear Jesus and help give life to the world. All this because she was found ready. Imagine what the Lord wants to do in your life if you are found ready when he comes to reveal himself once again.
Surely we will not be disappointed.

God Bless,

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