By: Bobot Apit

Dec 8, 2010 - Wednesday Meditation (Tell God, I say YES...)



Mary's prompt response of "yes" to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God's promises even when they seemed impossible. When God commands he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. 
  
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Genesis 3:9-15, 20 
Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3bc-4 
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 
Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" 35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and
the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible."38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. 
  
Meditation by Don Schwager 
Do you want to live a grace-filled life? The angel Gabriel salutes Mary as "full of grace".  To become the mother of the Savior, Mary was enriched by God with gifts to enable her to assume this awesome role. There is a venerable tradition among many Christians, dating back to the early church,  for honoring Mary as the spotless virgin who bore the Son of God in her womb. A number of early church fathers link Mary's obedience to this singular grace of God.  "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."  (Irenaeus, 2nd century) "The knot of Eve's disobedience was united by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." (Ireneaus, 2nd century) 
  
What is the key that can unlock the power and grace of God’s kingdom in our personal lives? Faith and obedience for sure! When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they immediately experienced the consequence of their action – separation from the God who loved them. God in his mercy promised them a Redeemer who would pay the price for their sin and the sin of the world. We see the marvelous unfolding of God's plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. Mary's prompt response of "yes" to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God's promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God's will, even if it seemed difficult or costly. God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands
he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God's promises and do you yield to his grace?
  
"Heavenly Father, you offer us a bun dant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified "yes" to your will and to your plan for my life." 
  
  
Supplementary Reading 
''May I Pray for You?'' 
  
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6 
  
  
I walked into the office. The secretary seemed physically struggling with her breathing and her countenance was different than normal. 
  
"Are you okay?" I asked. 
  
"Allergies," she replied. "Sometimes it gets so bad I can hardly breathe." 
  
"May I pray for you?" I asked. 
  
"Oh, I don't want to take up His time with something as menial as me. I'd rather not waste it on me. You should pray for someone much less fortunate than me. My mother always taught us to pray at the dinner table for those less fortunate than us," she replied. The woman was touched that I would offer to pray for her. 
  
The next day I told her my prayer group was praying for her. She could not believe that I would do such a thing for her. 
  
It is interesting what happens when you offer to pray for someone. Offering to pray for someone can be the most genuine and loving thing you can do for another person. It can be the one means of getting a conversation on a spiritual plane that cuts across religious stigmas and gets to the root of the problem-the person's real need. It immediately reveals your own values and sets the stage for future encounters. All it takes is a little holy boldness to step through the door when the opportunity seems to present itself. 
  
Is there anything too small to pray about? Do we, in fact, bother God when we make any request that is not dealing with only the poor in Calcutta ? Paul clearly tells us in this passage that prayer is talking with God. It is having such a relationship with Him that we can bring anything to His attention. 
  
We've all heard the housewife's prayer for a parking spot or other such seemingly trivial prayer requests, but are they trivial to God? If God is our closest and most intimate friend, then it becomes very natural to talk to Him as you would a friend who might be sitting next to you in the car. Yes, God desires to have such close communion with you and me that we can pray about anything-even a parking spot. 
  
As you enter the workplace today, ask a co-worker if you can pray for him about something. You may be surprised at what doors will open as a result.  - OS Hillman