In today’s post I’d like to reflect on the angel visiting Mary. I own up to the fact that I am not very good at taking myself off for some quiet time to be with God — I find that just to sit and try and stop thinking about everything-that-is-going-on-in-my-head is really quite hard. I’m much better when somebody else gives me some structure and some ideas to think about! So, here is a little structure, and some things to think about. With love, Gus x
If you can, find a quite place. And if you find things like focusing on your breathing for a while are helpful to you, then do so.
Read the story
Mary and the Angel (Luke 1: 26-38)
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 favour 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.
Use your Imagination – Involve yourself in the story
- Imagine Nazareth and Mary’s home.
- Think about Mary: what is she like? She is so unimportant: young, unmarried, childless, female, poor, living in the back of beyond! What goes on in her mind and heart?
- Imagine the angel Gabriel coming. What day is it, and what time? Think of the first moments of their meeting.
- The angel is clear about the task they have to do. Imagine talking with the angel: ‘Who gave you that task? Why? Why choose this girl?’
- Now talk with Mary: “How much did you understand when the angel spoke?
- What made you say ‘YES’ at this life-changing moment?
- Imagine saying to her: ‘You were so open and trusting!’ How does she respond? A blush, a smile, a bowing of her head?
- Reflect on her attitude: she seems so open to all possibilities. She does not insist on controlling her future. She trusts in God’s goodness to carry her through all difficulties.
Reflect – Think about your own life
- How would I be if the angel visited me?
- What proposal might the angel have for me?
- Have I ever been visited by a messenger of God, someone who was trying to help me to realise what God wanted me to do?
- How did I respond then? Did I respond at all?
- How would I respond now if the angel came?
- Do I control my life as if it were mine alone and not given me by God?
- How much do I trust my future to divine protection and guidance?
(Source: Sacred Space, www.sacredspace.ie)