Each day begins with a little prayer, a look at a part of the story, a short reflection with questions and a closing prayer. You can write down your thoughts in a separate notebook or journal.
Day 6 - Mary
Loving Creator, enfold me with your grace and love as I enter into this time of reflection. As I consider the Angel's invitation to Mary and Joseph, guide me to the recognition of the purpose to which I have been called in my life and grant me the courage to begin my task with faith.
The Story: The Power of Yes
While scholarly types often debate Mary's exact age, based on the custom and the protocol of her day, we do know that she was indeed a young teenager. Mary's life was pretty much laid out before her even at her tender age.
In her world, much was prescribed according to custom and religious ceremony. Life was simple and fairly straightforward. She would take her place among the women of the community, and her life would unfold exactly as had her mother's and her mother's mother's: she would marry, have children, and live out the roles of wife and mother.
So it was that Mary's parents, when she came of the age to marry, selected Joseph to be her husband. As a carpenter and tradesman, he could offer Mary and their future grandchildren security and comfort. He was older and established in the community, and this stability boded well for their daughter's life. He was even a descendant of David, like Mary herself, so this was considered a wonderful match, unlikely to hold surprises for either of the happy couple.
So they thought. But enter one very magnificent angel with a life-changing message and Mary's quiet, predictable life was forever altered. Gabriel came to her and announced that she had been chosen to bear God's own son. Think of the teenagers you know and how they might react when they are told something that involves a challenge, and now, contrast that with the way Mary addressed the angel.
Surely she must have felt surprise and shock, but her heart was open to the possibility. "How can this be?" she asked innocently. She had known no man in her short life and the prospect must have caused her more than a little concern. Yet, as she stood in the presence of the angel, she put her fears aside. Humbled by the great task set before her, she said yes to God's prayer.
So often, when we think of desires that we have put aside, we refuse the idea that there is hope for us to fulfill them.
"This is meant for someone wiser, someone more talented, someone more attractive, someone older, someone younger," we think. "It is too difficult! I can't manage this! There is no room for this in my life!" And so we move on to other, more attainable goals.
Surely a teenager, faced with the prospect of mothering the son of God, must have felt the same. Yet, from someplace deep within her heart, she found the courage to say yes, to take the step, to go for it. And, from Someone, she was given all she needed to accomplish a seemingly overwhelming task.
Why can we not do the same–say Yes to our dreams, Yes to the desires that make our hearts beat faster and our breath quicken? Will God not give us the courage, the wisdom, the support to see them to fruition?
Creator God, so much of my path lies in darkness. I do not know what gift I have been called to offer to the world in your name. I fear, too, the sacrifices my path may ask of me. Most of all, I am afraid that I am not strong enough or faithful enough to accomplish the task you have set before me.
Help me to gain insight into the ways you work in my life and the purpose to which you call me. Grant me the depth of love and courage that even if I do not know the details of my path, my heart may still say yes.