As we move ever closer to the celebration of Christmas, our readings today are laser-focused on anticipation. From Isaiah, we read again the famous prophecy, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and she will give birth to a son, and his name shall be Immanuel.” Today’s reading from Luke brings that prophecy to life in Mary’s “fiat.”
Mary is the focus of Advent as she was the one who first waited in anticipation of the birth of her son. We join with her each Advent to anticipate that incredible moment in history.
Not many words of Mary are recorded in Scripture. Two stand out as being possible foci for our Advent reflection. One is Mary’s “fiat” (“let it be done to me”), her absolute trust in and obedience to God. We also are called by the Incarnation to be open to what God calls us to. There is a phrase in Ignatian spirituality, “holy indifference.” This is not some passive, “Que sera, sera,” Rather, it is an active attentiveness to the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. What are we called to in our state of life, in our own time and place, which seeks our “fiat?”
Father Eymard often wrote that Mary drew him to the Eucharist. At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary tells Jesus that the hosts had run out of wine. She then tells the waiters to ”Do whatever he asks of you.” Our Marian devotions should always be attentive, as was Father Eymard’s, to her admonition to do whatever Jesus asks us to do.
What Jesus asks of us most powerfully is to serve him in the poor, the widow, orphans, refugees, immigrants, and any of our brothers and sisters who have been pushed to the periphery by greed, indifference, or hatred.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, you shed your divinity and came to us like us so that we would see you in each other. As we celebrate your birth, you call us to reach out in love and compassion to all, especially those most in need of support, tenderness, hope, and love. Amen.