What it means to say ‘yes’ to an opportunity or to a call? The Fourth Sunday of Advent shows to me an answer for this question as I reflect upon the Sunday Gospel for today. The gospel for today, which is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke, talks about the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Annunciation story is not just a story itself from the Bible, but it also gives to us a lesson which is essential for pondering as we also encounter some experiences in life that needs our firm decisions. If Mary did not say her ‘yes’ to the Lord for sure there will be no Christmas, and we will never experience or define what is redemption or salvation is all about. On Mary’s part, probably she was really perspiring or hesitant in hearing or saying her ‘yes’ to Angel Gabriel’s message that she will bore a Son who will be called Holy and the Son of God. But, all those thingsdid not affect her in saying; “Behold I am the maidservant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word.”
The gospel for today is really striking my life especially in my vocation journey. To be honest, it’s really hard to say your ‘yes’ to an opportunity or to a call especially if it is God’s will. It’s unavoidable to cling with your own plans or wills because you want to achieve something in life, you want to be happy, and you know your shortcomings and limitations. But, it’s not the case when we speak about following the will of God. To be honest, to follow the will is really challenging because you really need to deny your plans, wills, aspirations, and even dreams that you desire most. What made Mary to say her ‘yes’ to God’s call to be the mother of the Messiah? As I reflected upon the gospel, my thoughts were captivated upon the words of Angel Gabriel to Mary; “Do not be afraid…for nothing will be impossible for God.” When I encounter this passage in the gospel for today, my eyes shed in tears. For many years that I am journeying together with my identity as I religious there’s one thing that I can’t still overcome, i.e. fear. Fear affected me greatly to trust with God’s providential care as I follow Him. Yes, nothing is impossible for God, but how will I trust in these words of Him if I am afraid to dedicate and commit myself firmly to Him? Why is it easy for Mary to say her ‘yes’ to God’s invitation, but for me it’s hard?
Really, the Annunciation story is not just a story itself from the Bible. It serves as a model for me on how I may be able to trust in the Lord’s call without any hesitation in my heart. Like Mary, I really need to check my trust with the Lord and ask this question to myself; what’s going on in me? Why is it hard to trust the One that is gracious, merciful, and just. Mary’s vocation story is really a challenge for my vocation journey. Once God call you for a great purpose in life there has to be no if’s and but’s. It’s a matter of firm faith, and to have a firm faith takes a lot of dying with my own self-interests. As Christmas is fast-approaching I am so glad today that I encounter once again Mary’s vocation story. It simply conveys to me a message that as I am really doing my best to follow the footsteps of Christ I need really to cast out all my fears and to say this deeply within my heart: “I am a maidservant of the Lord, may it done to me according to His will”.