Posted by: livingscripture | December 20, 2014

Third Saturday of Advent


From the Word of the Day

“Then Mary said: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel left her.”

(Luke 1: 38)


Today’s Gospel passage recounts the celebrated verses of the Annunciation to Mary, so well known and who knows how many times the theme of meditation for all of us.  This may make it difficult to find something new in it.  I like to read it parallel to the preceding ‘annunciation’ made by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah.  Instead of receiving God’s Word with faith and joy, he shows pessimistic skepticism with his incredulity.  Mary on the other hand, abandons herself with pure and total faith to the God of the impossible.  “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it done unto me according to your word”.  

I wish to pause a moment on a short word that is very important, “Behold”!  It appears in the Bible many times, above all in the vocations of many personages like Abram, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah…up to Mary, and even Jesus Himself who, according to the Letter to the Hebrews 10: 7 and Psalm 40: 7-9, said upon entering the world, “…Then I said, Behold, I come…because it is written of me in the scrolls, to do Your will, O Lord”.  It extends to the ‘Behold’ of each of us as the Lord waits for our consent to His word and to His will.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will take a look at my response to the Lord during my day.  I will try to repeat with Mary, “Behold”, which speaks of my readiness to do His will as He inspires me.

Virgin of ‘Behold’, which you practiced with radical fidelity in your whole existence thanks to your docility to the Spirit, grant that it may become the constant response of my life, “Behold, Lord”! 

The voice of Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus at Loretto on September 1, 2007

Mary, Mother of the yes, you listened to Jesus and recognized the timbre of His voice and the beat of His heart.  Morning star, speak to us of Him and tell us of your journey to follow Him in the way of faith.  Mary, who lived with Jesus at Nazareth, imprint in our life, your sentiments, your docility, your silence that listens, and make the Word blossom in choices of true freedom.  Mary, speak to us of Jesus, so that the freshness of our faith may shine in our eyes and warm the heart of those we meet, as you did in visiting Elizabeth.


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