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Monday, September 7, 2020

Reflection 2020-09-08: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Micah 5:2-5; Psalm 13; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
The Readings today show how God disrupts lives when he enters it. The First Reading speaks of Bethlehem a little clan in Judah bringing forth the One to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. God enters a small village and he brings forth the King of Israel.
The Second Reading tells us God disrupts our lives so that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. God takes what we have and who we are and uses them for our good if we love him.
The Gospel tells of how God disrupts the lives of Mary and Joseph who were living in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee, where no one expects any good to come from it. In all the disruptions God does in our lives, the only response is obedience to him because the disruptions caused by God is not necessarily punishment, but an opportunity to know more about God, to draw closer to God so we can trust him to obey him.
The most perfect example of obedience is Mary, whom Matthew says in the Gospel today: of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. This Messiah is the one to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old. This Messiah is to be called: Jesus by his foster father, Joseph. The name means God saves. This Messiah is to be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us. The fulfillment of these prophecies happen because many people said yes to God, the greatest is Mary. While it would be an impossible thought, that should Joseph would not take Mary as his wife, Jesus would still be born because Mary said yes to God.
By surrendering herself to God when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her, Mary allowed God to enter her life and disrupt it. The birth of Jesus did not depend on anyone, except on Mary’s consent. Joseph was there to protect Mary and did not have anything to do with the conception of Jesus.
Mary’s humility shows in her Magnificat when she praised God even without knowing what difficulties she will face in the future. Though she was faced with uncertainties, her soul still magnifies the Lord and her spirit still rejoices in God her Savior. We know why this is: Because the Lord has looked with favor at the lowliness of his servant … because he that is mighty has done great things to her, holy is his name.
The humility of Mary is not in her poverty. Her humility is from her willingness to let God do great things to her because she trusts that since he is holy, he will only have what is best for her. Mary knows her life will be disrupted through difficulties and uncertainties. Yet she believed God can do great things to make all things work together for those who love him and those who are called according to his purpose.
This pandemic has disrupted many lives. This is not a sign of chaos. But as Mary shows, this is a sign of God calling us to fulfill our purpose. This will happen only when we surrender ourselves to him, so that he can do, not only good things for us, but GREAT things for us. Why? Because his name is holy. If things seem uncertain to you, if it seems like there is no hope, turn to Mary and ask her to teach you to trust God.
Lord, I come to you uncertain of what the future holds for me. I come to you, confused. Yet, I know, you call me for a purpose. Lead me to where you want me to go. Let it be done to me according to your Word. Mary, Mother of God, lead me to Jesus. Teach me to trust in God through chaos, uncertainties, disruptions in my life. Teach me to say yes to Jesus.

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