a discerning life

If you are following the daily liturgy gospel readings this week you’ll notice a couple of repeats. Yesterday’s gospel from Luke is the account of the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary and we will hear this again on Sunday. This is the moment we call the Annunciation, when God became incarnate in human form on earth.

This reading gives us the opportunity to reflect on the role of the Virgin Mary in God’s plan. Mary’s ‘be it done to me according to your word’ is the model of harmonious living with God.

This harmony requires our “discernment.” Note that Mary did not spend time weighing up the pros and cons of the angel’s greeting. Too often this juggling is what we wrongly call ‘discernment’.

Mary’s discernment was simply a seeking to know whether or not it was God who was communicating with her. Once Mary knew that this was God, then the only answer she would give was “yes”.

This simple and clear desire to live in harmonious relationship with God is built into every human person. If we are healthy and know ourselves well, then we are not too concerned with how something will turn out. Our sole desire will be to flow with whatever God proposes.

This awareness of the power and wisdom of God’s plan for our lives does not disempower us rather enables us to relax into the plan of one who loves us much more than we could ever love ourselves.

“O” Antiphon for 21 December

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

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