Devotional Thoughts for Nov. 24th, 2013/Annunciation to St. Mary
- Title: Absurdities of LifeGospel Message on St. Luke 1:26-38
By Rev. Fr. Vijay Thomas
Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One True God. Amen.
Every day we are confronted by many problems or difficulties that cause us stress. We often find ourselves worrying about these problems and allowing these issues to dictate our mood or behavior. The problem might be at work where a fellow employee has upset you. Or, it could be at home where you are anxious about fixing a broken television. Even young children worry and become anxious about attending their friend’s birthday party.
Every person has their own daily difficulties that cause us stress and worry. And when we become consumed by these little worries, they become our whole world. We will all act like the young child who finds out that he is unable to go to his friend’s birthday party. That child will cry like his life is over just like anyone who finds themselves stressing about the small stuff.
But our Father in Heaven loves us so much that he often shakes the world around us to help us realize the bigger picture. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes tragedy to shake our world. It could be losing our job, illness, the loss of a loved one, or a greater problem than we
In confronting these grave problems, we find ourselves completely and utterly lost for words. We find ourselves struggling to grab hold of anything that will stabilize our world.
Fr. Henri Nouwen states the situation eloquently, when he writes, “When in a crisis of war, sudden poverty, illness or death we are confronted with the ‘absurdities of life,’ we can no longer remain neutral and are asked to respond. Often our first and most visible response is a protest bursting forth from our bewilderment. It is at these crucial moments of life that we are reminded again of our illusions and are asked to convert our protest to prayer. This is a very hard task, but a task leading us not away from reality but closer to it.” (pg 131 in Reaching Out to God)
The ‘absurdities of life’ is what consumes us on a daily basis. We surround ourselves with the illusions about what is important. Those illusions hinder our ability to respond appropriately to the reality of our situation.
When we look at this Sunday’s Gospel Reading from St. Luke 1, we see a young girl who is confronted by life-altering news that she would conceive God’s Son. Any other young bride would be stressing about her wedding day and the preparations of her dress, the reception hall, and such. However, Mary is not your typical girl.
St. Mary is an example of type of women that Paul writes to Timothy about. In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, St. Paul writes, “That the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God.” St. Mary clothes herself in humility and reverence to God.
It is because St. Mary is not consumed by the things of the world that she is able to handle the “Good News” from the angel of God. Her world and life would never be the same after her encounter with the angel. Her world would be completely different. She would be an
unmarried (though betrothed) pregnant woman, which could surely make her an outcast of the society or worse.
However, Mary does not despair. She responds to the life changing words of God’s messenger by saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
The lesson for us to learn from St. Mary’s powerful words is that we need stay focused on the truly important things. We need to throw off our illusions that the small daily problems control our life. We need to remember not to become so anxious or worried.
We need to give control of our life to God by following St. Mary’s example of devotion. We need to pray with her and say, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
All Glory and Honor to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One True God. Amen.