In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Let us come into a time of prayer reverently seeking the face of God. How do we give God glory, this mysterious Creator/Creating God of the earth, its fullness, the world, and all who dwell in it?
It is a bit of a struggle to give constant praise and glory if I think of that as bowing before an entity outside myself, unconnected to myself. I find myself thinking “Is this all there is to do? It’s boring!” I have tried to be pious in that way with mixed results. I have prayed and then went about my plans for the day or week disconnected from my prayer.
I have given God greater glory in acknowledging God’s indwelling in me and all creation and savoring being a part of God’s plan. Life is more meaningful in seeing God’s will unfold in ordinary days and letting the Lord enter each moment. The Incarnation is ongoing. Only in Christ can God be given full glory and God enters into our humanity in Jesus and remains Christ Incarnate.
Let us contemplate Mary’s yes to the indwelling of God within her and Jesus born of her. Let the Lord enter us. What are you being called to say yes to in your life that will birth new life in Christ?
As we end this reflection, be with the Lord and give glory to God transcendent and imminent.
—Janet Lehane is Assistant Director of the Spirituality Program for Adults at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland OH.
O Key of David, O royal power of Israel,
controlling at your will the gate of heaven:
Come, break down the prison walls of death
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Lead your captive people into freedom!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team