December 5, 2015

Theotokos: Saturday of the First Week of Advent

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Theotokos: Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

“let it be done to me” (Luke 1:38)

Mary freely and actively embraces God and His invitation. Her exultant “let it be done to me according to your word” is more than a simple acceptance. The literal Greek translation indicates that she actually longs for it. Mary is in love with God, and she is in love with whatever He wants. Luke 1:38 tells us just as much about Mary as it does about God. Everyday preceding the Annunciation Mary lived as if God was really in control of her life. Mary said “yes” every day.

Mary’s “yes” is birthed out of her “no.” Mary was not in control of her life. She said “no” to living life on her terms. She said “no” to “being her own woman.” She said “no” to control, for she knew it to be an illusion.

Control is like chasing tomorrow—once you think you’re almost there it slips ahead of you. None of us is in control of our life; however, that illusion is in the air we breathe. In fact, look at your Christmas shopping list. Are any of your presents aimed at helping someone self-help themselves?

The problem is that control is an illusion. None of us are in control—and the more we grasp for it the emptier our lives become. In fact, look at your Christmas shopping list again. Are any of you presents aimed at helping someone numb the emptiness in their life? Where are you trying to control your life? What issues, relationships, or dreams are you trying to control? Do your daily actions reflect control or trust?

Spend some time with Mary. Ask her to show you how she lived her daily life before the Annunciation. Ask her to show you how she lived out of control. Ask her to help you live the same way.

For your prayer

Mary would have often prayed with Psalm 62. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading Psalm 62. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Mary in Luke 1:26-38.

“Father, I beg you to help me fall so in love with you that I may willingly surrender control of my life.”

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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015