We Watch And Wait Just As Mary Did

8 Dec

“This important Marian feast occurs during Advent, a season of watchful and prayerful preparation for Christmas. She who knew better than anyone how to wait attentively for the Lord guides us and shows us how to make more vital and active our journey to the Holy Night of Bethlehem. With her, we spend these weeks in prayer and, guided by her bright star, hasten to make the spiritual journey that will lead us to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation with greater intensity.”  ~ St. Pope John Paul II

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is under that title that the United States of America has been placed under Mary’s patronage.  As John Paul II so accurately noted, this solemnity is very worthy of the season of Advent since Mary’s life was all about watching and waiting.

Mary hoped for the fulfillment of a promise made to her ancestors by God Himself.  I don’t think she ever had an inkling what her role would be in the fulfillment of that promise.  Just as all her people did, Mary prayed regularly for the coming of a Savior.  One night in prayer, the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and invited her to be the mother of the Son of God.

What a request!  Mary was shaken.  She did not understand what was being asked.  She was confused.  She let all of that be known to the Angel Gabriel.  But there was something bigger that she let the angel know:  she was the handmaid of the Lord and if God was asking something of her, by God, she was going to do it.

This is a wonderful lesson to us in this Advent season since our lives, like Mary’s, are spent in waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise.  Jesus, the fulfiller of the promise, came to us as a baby and will come again in His glory.  Until that time, we wait.  While we wait, there are things expected of us as well.

I often think of Mary when I hear the words of scripture, “Much will be demanded of a person to whom much has been given, and even more will be asked of a person to whom more has been entrusted.” (Lk 12:48)  Much was given to Mary in becoming the Mother of Jesus Christ.  Because of that, her life would take on another kind of waiting.  She waited to see what would happen to her Son, knowing, as He became an adult, that people were out for His life.

Mary knew that everything was wrapped up in God’s holy will and she embraced it throughout her life even though it brought pain and suffering.  May we be able to do the same in our lives.

FAITH ACTION:  Reflect upon Mary’s “yes” to God and ask God to grant the patience needed as you await what He has in store for you.