Minute Meditations

Filled with God’s Grace

Mary and Jesus

Mary knew who she was to the very depth of her being. She said yes to God and because of that, the world was turned upside down, or perhaps was finally righted. Mary’s is her testimony to the way God intended the world to be from the beginning. Because she said yes, a new creation would be revealed to the world. This woman at the heart of the Advent season is a remarkable role model for us. We might not realize it, but we, too, are filled with God’s grace, even if that grace is clouded and obscured by sin. Mary may have been born knowing who she was, but we are given many opportunities to learn the marvelous truth that we are sons and daughters of God. At times, we mistake humility for inferiority, but in truth humility means knowing who we are, with all our strengths and weaknesses, gifts and gaps. Our job is to clear away those things that keep us from saying yes to God. If we focus only on what’s missing, we miss the beauty that’s already there. As we become more and more clear, we better reflect and magnify the Lord who has given us all that we have, made us all that we are (and can be). And here, too, we can learn from Mary. Again and again, the Gospels tell us that she treasured everything in her heart, pondering the meaning of the angel’s words—and later those of her precocious child. She must have spent long days and even sleepless nights wondering where his adult path would lead him. But through all of ponderings, she knew in her heart that she could trust the God to whom she had said yes. How do you show forth the glory of God to those around you? Pray these words with Mary: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (Luke 1:46–47) We’ll never be asked to do what Mary did. Her role in salvation history was unique. But God asks us to have her openness to those things that we are called to do. Take some time even in this hectic week to reflect on your life—past, present, and future—and listen for how God is asking you to make things right in your little corner of the world.

— from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent  
by Diane M. Houdek

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2 thoughts on “Filled with God’s Grace”

  1. Arlene B. Muller

    Beautiful reflection!
    I don’t know if Our Lady was aware that she had been conceived without original sin or if before the Angel Gabriel visited her she knew that she would become the mother of the Incarnate Son of GOD, but she obviously must have had a 100% bent toward GOD, goodness, unselfishness & holiness in contrast to the rest of humanity that at least some of the time has/had a bent toward sin, doubt & choosing self. Early in her life she was presented to the LORD in the temple & dedicated her life to GOD. Although many believe her betrothal to Joseph was in anticipation of a normal married life, some believe Our Lady already had chosen to be a consecrated virgin & St. Joseph was called to marry her in a chaste marriage as her protector (there is a legend about St. Joseph & the lily).
    In my life as a happily celibate single woman, now 69 years old, my various ministries in Church & community are my greatest joys & top priorities
    ( lector, EM, singing in a parish choir & previous music ministries, serving in my Secular Franciscan fraternity, writing reflections).
    For 3 years I served as part time caregiver for my Mom in her final years, with the help of 2 wonderful aides, & I think I was called to be a sign to her that although she was suffering, GOD had not abandoned her.
    After Mom died (my Dad had preceded her in death almost 5 years older, I am an only child, I never married & never had children, & I rarely see my cousins–some due to their health issues & some due to geographical distance), the LORD placed a friend & her siblings in my life for mutual adoption. My friend helps several people & a lot of animals & she has health issues & other stresses & I try to help her. Maybe I am being called as a sign that GOD has not abandoned her in her problems & stresses. Maybe this, in addition to my ministries & writing, is a “common thread” in my calling in life.
    For most women this kind of calling is lived out in the vocation of marriage & motherhood. For me as a virgin celibate single woman it is lived out differently.

  2. Lord Jesus Christ, you have been gracious and merciful towards your people. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to the joy of the Gospel to those around us. Amen.

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