December 20, 2022 –
Late Advent Weekday
“May it be done to me according to your word.”
Today’s Gospel Reading focuses our attention upon the First Joyful Mystery of the traditional Dominican Rosary (as opposed to the six-decade Carmelite Rosary, whose first Joyful Mystery is the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary). The mystery of the Annunciation focuses upon the moment of the Divine Word becoming Flesh within the womb of Our Lady. This moment, among other ways in which we might reflect upon it, symbolizes the way that each Christian disciple needs to accept Jesus into his or her own life.
Jesus is the divine Gift that God the Father gifts fallen mankind with. We can prepare for Christmastide by pondering both the graciousness of this divine Father, and the bountiful goodness of this Gift who is the divine Son. Yet another way to ponder the Mystery of the Annunciation is to reflect upon the manner in which Mary receives the divine Gift of Jesus.
Mary is the first and best disciple of Jesus. She not only intercedes for each of us. She is also a model for us, which means that each time we find her mentioned in the New Testament, we ought to consider how we can imitate her virtues as the first and best disciple.
At the scene of the Annunciation, Mary exemplifies many virtues, but perhaps no virtue more than that of humility. It’s not a coincidence that the words “humble” and “humility” derive from the Latin word “humus”, meaning “ground” or “earth”. Mary is grounded, or down-to-earth, because of her humility. She knows what she is about, and never tries to be someone she is not. This humility does not prevent her, however, from being surprised by God’s message that she is destined to be the Mother of the Messiah. Nonetheless, without any assurances about what this vocation will demand of her, she assents to God’s will: “May it be done unto me according to your [divine] word.”