Mary’s Fiat –Jesus’ “Thy Will Be Done”

Annunciation Mary AngelStained Glass Old Basilica Guadalupe Mexi
Annunciation Angel Gabriel Tells Mary She Will Give Birth to Jesus Stained Glass Old Basilica Guadalupe Mexico City Mexico.

Prior to the Annunciation, Mary’s life was a series of small choices for God, but there came a point when He “popped the question”.  God wasn’t asking for small sacrifices and prayers.  He wanted her life, her body and her future.  Any plans she had made would be turned upside down.  There was a chance of death by stoning.  She was faced with the choice, “Do I give God everything, even my life if need be? ”

Mary, like us, could only see so far. Little did she know that a year later she would be a refugee in Egypt after fleeing an unthinkably horrible massacre.  For the saints, the words “they lived happily ever after” have no meaning until their deaths.

Mary also could not know the unspeakable joy of having Love itself dwell within her womb and suckle at her breast, but this she could imagine.  All she did know was that God was offering to her blessings and position beyond anything a mortal could deserve. As a reward, she lived each day in intimate union with the Holy Spirit and the Son of God.

After a lifetime of perfect obedience, the Father popped the question to Jesus. He unlike us, did know exactly what He was being called to give.  He knew all the suffering it would entail and it distressed Him so much He sweat blood.  He had lived in constant union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Now, He would feel that separation from God in His flesh, although He could never be anything but One in His deity. The Father’s cup held suffering which no other human could withstand.

Jesus also knew intimately all those who would be saved through His sacrifice. For love of us, and the glory set before Him, He endured the Cross.  The weight of all humanity was literally resting on His shoulders.  He like His mother before Him gave His total commitment to the Father.

Many Christians are like Mary before the Annunciation. We lead lives of small sacrifices and prayers to God but we are called to be saints! God will ask us the question.  “Will you bring the light of Christ to the world like Mary?” and “Will you pick up your cross and follow Jesus, to your death if need be?”

We don’t know the unity with God we will experience nor do we know the level of suffering that we will encounter.  What we do know are the promises of Christ and the testimony of the saints who have gone before us.  St. Paul tells us, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with glory that is to be revealed to us”  Jesus compared His suffering to labor pains that while intense are quickly forgotten when the birth comes. He also tells us that He will not leave us orphaned. The Holy Spirit will come to guide us and support us.

God is happy with any small sacrifice or prayer that you give Him, and it will not be without its reward. But God is not satisfied and until you have totally surrendered yourself to Him.

Scriptures referenced: Luke 1, Luke 22:39-46  , Romans 8:18, John 14

#trcot #trot #Advent #Annunciation #Mary

Gabriel and the angels of the Ascension

GRANADA, SPAIN - MAY 29, 2015: The baroque paint of Annunication in Iglesia de San Anton by unknown artist.
GRANADA, SPAIN – MAY 29, 2015: The baroque paint of Annunication in Iglesia de San Anton by unknown artist.

There is a connection between the Archangel Gabriel’s message to Mary before the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry and that of the angels of the Ascension after the end of it.  It goes to the very heart of Advent and our walk as faithful believers.

Gabriel announced that the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of David was here.  The people of the Old Testament had waited for centuries for this wonderful news. Gabriel’s message was summed up by Zephaniah.

“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. 

The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more.

The angels of the Ascension told the apostles: This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.

Here we have the heart of the Advent.  Christ is here, and He is coming again! We rejoice as New Testament people that Jesus is within us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Yet, we like those of the Old Testament have waited expectantly for ages for His coming again. Gabriel’s message tells us, our wait is not in vain. The angels of the Ascension spoke truly.  He is coming again!

Scriptures cited: Luke 1: 26-38, Acts 1:6-11, Zephaniah 3:14-15

#trcot #trot #Advent #Annuciation #Ascension #Gabriel

Light, Darkness and the Long Twilight

Argimusco twilight with Venus Taurus Cassiopea and Pleiades

As a child I would stay out late playing hide-and-seek or catching lightening bugs.  My friends and I knew it was getting dark but our eyes kept adjusting to the darkness so we thought we could still see.  Then we went inside when the mosquitos would get the best of us. Only then could we see how really dark it had been.

Spiritual matters are like that too.  At one end of the spectrum we have God who is all light, within Him is every good and every blessing.  At the other end there is only darkness–total lack of light and dearth of blessings.  The dwelling place of Satan who comes to kill and destroy.

We, individually and as nations are on a line in-between.  We fall far short of the splendor of God’s glory yet we are not in hell. Just as we do not get obese overnight, but through a series of small decisions.  We do not fall precipitously from great heights of glory but rather wander away through a series of poor choices.  Most of which seem small and inconsequential at the time.

We are always moving on this line. We can never stay in the same place. Every decision pushes us either towards God and the light or towards darkness.  You change as a person when you decide to sleep in and miss Mass or spread that piece of gossip.  You don’t feel changed because your spiritual eyes have adjusted to the growing darkness.

As a nation we did not get to where we are overnight.  It was a series of decisions on divorce, the pill, drugs, credit cards, and abortion. We rejected the wisdom of our ancestors for every new wind of doctrine. We valued cheaper goods over our neighbor’s job.  We judged by appearance and words rather than by character and the outcome of their deeds. We traded in fasting and physical sacrifices for dieting and strenuous exercise.  We have fit bodies and flabby souls.

Our choices individually and collectively have changed the world for our children.  It was hard for people being born into a world where slavery was the norm to see its inherent evil.  Our children are being born into a culture of sin. It is so difficult to walk rightly even for those who know right from wrong.  How can they see if there is no light? When nations become sin-soaked, nations are judged.

In Deuteronomy 28 there is a listing of blessings and curses. We used to be very, very blessed. We had stable marriages, abundant food, and plenty of good paying jobs even for people without degrees.  There were problems in our country. We were still short of the glory of God but we were respected by the world. We were receiving the blessings of obedience.

Now family has been obliterated to the point its been redefined as any group of people who love each other. Not only is our nation laden with debt but individuals are crushed beneath its burden.  There are specialized high-paying jobs which require endless hours of work, or poorly paid part-time jobs of hard labor and little respect. Even our food has become corrupted.  Eating it has made many people sick. We are no longer respected in the world.  That is just the beginning of the curses.

Ask the Lord, to show you the darkness in your own heart.  Where have you compromised with the world?  Come back inside the house of God where there is light. A nation can only move as its individuals move.  The light of your life can help your neighbor see when they have no light of their own.

#trcot #tcot #Darkness