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Theotokos: Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent
“How will this be?” (Luke 1:34)
Zechariah’s inadequate trust in God led to an expected silent retreat. However, Mary’s response in Luke 1:34 is different from Zechariah’s doubt in Luke 1:18. According to the Ignatius Study Bible Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, “Mary is not questioning God’s ability to give her a son, but she is inquiring as to how such a plan will unfold.”
The clue here is Mary’s admittance that “I have no husband” (Luke 1:34). Again, according to the Ignatius Study Bible Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, “The Greek text literally reads, ‘I do not know man,’ which refers to Mary’s virginal status rather than her marital status. Her concern is not that she is unmarried but that she is a virgin at present and that she intends to remain one in the future. The announcement of a miraculous conception thus causes Mary to wonder aloud how God will bless her with a son” and still honor her vow to perpetual virginity.
Mary is in love with God and she shares everything with God. Thus, instead of thinking about her confusion, Mary relates her confusion to God.
There is a difference between thinking about God and talking with God. In its purest definition prayer is relating to God. Devotion, adoration, and intercession are time honored; however, if we’re going to develop a relationship with God we have to relate with God.
What do you need to talk to God about? What thoughts, feelings, or desires do you need to share with Him? Spend some time with Mary. Ask her to teach you how to relate.
For your prayer
Mary would have often prayed with Psalm 42. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading Psalm 42:1-5. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Mary in Luke 1:34.
“Father, I beg you to loosen my thoughts, feelings, and desires so that I share all things with you.”
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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015