20TH DECEMBER 2021
BEING INSTRUMENTS OF GOD
Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 24:1-2.3-4ab.5-6; Gospel Luke 1:26-38
Today’s Gospel describes the story of the Annunciation, explaining how God began to keep the promise He had made to King David through the prophet Nathan, that
David’s descendant would rule over the world as its Messiah. The Archangel Gabriel’s salutation to Mary: “Hail, full of grace,” reminds us of God’s words to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:12), and the angel’s salutation to Gideon. Mary is described as “full of grace”, filled with God’s favor and graciousness. She is to be the new Ark, a tent and temple. God will be in her, literally and physically, and thus she will be the greater House God promised to David. Mary’s question, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” is natural.
That is why Gabriel reminds Mary,” For with God nothing will be impossible.” God will “empower” her (“the Spirit will come upon you “) and “protect” her (“overshadow you “). Luke’s narrative points out that the Child will not only be a distant grandson of David — He will be God’s own
Son. “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 ancestor David.” Mary does not require confirmation but responds in Faith. She agrees to carry out the Word Gabriel has addressed to her.
We need to be humble instruments in the hand of God, trusting in His power and goodness. St. Augustine reminds us that God Who created us without our permission cannot save us without our active cooperation. Hence, let us cooperate in the fulfillment of God’s plan for us with
Mary’s trusting Faith and humility. Like Mary who brought God to us as Jesus our Savior, it is our duty to carry Jesus everywhere and bring Jesus to the lives of others around us through love, mercy, forgiveness and service. “Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you to magnify the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one to exult in Christ.” (St. Ambrose). We should treasure these words of the Gospel and use them often, for example, practicing the Christian custom of saying the Angelus every day and reflecting on the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.