Wednesday of the Third Week

Readings

Is 7:10-14
Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
Lk 1:26-38

Reflection

This passage from the Gospel of Luke is definitely one of my favorites. The annunciation to the Virgin Mary is one of the most important parts of the Advent season, as it signifies the coming of the Lord in a very real way. There is so much anticipation, confusion, disbelief, and yet at the same time an overall sense of peace and trust in God. Each and every time I read this narrative something different strikes me, and this time it was verse 30: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

In this moment of uncertainty as to what God has planned for her, Mary chooses to say yes and accept whatever God has coming her way. She embraces His unexpected message and chooses to go forth even through her own confusion. Mary embodies this "do not be afraid" as she chooses to go forth in the love of God.

As a senior, graduation is ever approaching and the uncertainty of post-graduation seems to be a topic of continual discussion. There is a constant pressure to figure things out and plan the next phase of life, yet this Gospel is another reminder to stop and be still. As the Angel Gabriel challenges Mary, we are all called to embrace the fear and uncertainty around us and go ever forth through life with God by our side. At this time in my life I am challenged to "not be afraid" of the next step, and instead to walk in whatever direction God might be leading me towards.

Just as Mary has "found favor with God," we can each be reminded of our inherent worth and value. God crafted each one of us and loves us beyond any amount of human understanding. To me, this is a reminder that His persistent love is continually guiding us through both the trials and joys of life, even when it may seem like He is nowhere to be found. I am ever inspired by Mary's trust in her own time of uncertainty and as we rapidly approach the coming of Jesus at Christmas, I challenge myself to follow her example. In my own time of uncertainty I strive to sit back, rest in the Lord, and know that He loves me in each and every moment.

Miranda Rappoldt, '18