Friday, December 16, 2011

4th Sunday of Advent Year B - 2011

May the Peace of Christ reign in our heart.

Once during graduation at WCSU a plane flew over with pulling a sign which read Gretchen will you marry me?
Everyone started pointing and waving and cheering. The whole place when nuts…

When the President of the University who was speaking noticed that no one was paying attention to him and everyone was pointing up and yelling he looked up and read the sign.

Then to get try and get everyone’s attention again he asked the crowd… “Well Gretchen what is your answer?”

This woman a few rows ahead of me jumped up and started yelling Yes Yes Yes I will marry you and every one was cheering

Then all of a sudden there was a stir in the crowd because they noticed that on the other side of the graduates there another woman  yelling at the top of her lungs “yes yes yes I love you I will marry you. “

When the two women noticed each other they didn’t know what to do, neither was sure the message was meant for her awkward awkward awkward….

Wonder boy the groom to ge didn’t figure there might be two Gretchens in the crowd both expecting a proposal.

I don’t know how the story ended.

What was obvious from the start when they were asked the big question both responded exuberantly to love’s call.

In a sense in today’s Gospel Mary was also asked the big question and after a moment of doubt she was exuberant in her response to God’s call

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord”, she said

“Be it done unto me according to your will.”

Today’s Gospel relates a real historical event.

And to make sure we understand that it is not a parable or teaching story with a message, the Evangelist situates it in history by giving us the concrete details about the encounter.

He made sure we knew the name of the Angel Gabriel,
the town where it happened Nazareth of Galilee,and the name of the person he spoke to… Mary.

This is the first time we hear her name.

Tradition tells us that Mary was poor.

She was young.

And she was a woman.

And in her times all of these things made it exceptionally doubtful that she would or could ever really amount to anything or make a difference in the world.

Yet it was her yes to God that changed the world.

It is important to note that Mary response was a reasoned response.

She just didn’t say yes blindly. She was confident enough to questions the Angel. How can this be for I do not know man?

And when the Angel answered her question and when she understood Her yes was immediate and exuberant like the Gretchens

And all of this just goes to show us that frequently God doesn’t use things we consider important or people that we consider important to accomplish his plan for our salvation.

Never forget

God’s plan didn’t stop with Mary’s yes

God’s plan continues to transform the world he loves so much and every human being has a role to play in the salvation of the world.

All of us are called to say yes to love as wholeheartedly as Mary.

If you are young

Listen carefully to God’s voice in your heart

God believes in you and so do we.

I am sure that all of us agree that our young people face a much more complicated and difficult world than we did.

They will face so many more challenges

Young adults don’t be afraid you are up to anything that our culture can throw your way.

When God calls you… say yes like Mary… and your life will never be the same…

If you are a woman all I can say is that you’ve come a long way baby since the time of Mary.

Being a woman is no longer a sign of weakness.

I know most of you work and are full time Moms and have a multitude of things to do .

Sometimes I can’t believe how much you have on your plates but when God calls continue to say yes…

And help your families to do the same.  Think about it how many families practice their faith because their mom or their wife encouraged them… lots and lots and lots.

When it comes to holiness I think they often have us beat Gentlemen.

If you are poor and God calls say yes…

Never think for a second that how much you have in the bank, or how much your mortgage is or how much you make really matters to God.

No matter what your financial circumstances you have a role to play in God’s plan.

If we think about it all of us have been called to love and sacrifice over and over and over again in our lives.

And sometimes it has been frightening or daunting, and if we are troubled or afraid when God call  remember what the Angel said to Mary,

“Do not be afraid you have found favor with God”

Now God doesn’t usually put a plane in the sky to call you to love but you never know

he does however call and it is important for all of us to listen especially during this lasts week of Advent lest we miss our special role in God’s plan be it big or small

May all of us Like Mary say yes to God whenever love calls

The God and the world counted on her yes and they count on our yes too.


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