Study: Recall a time when you had to make an important choice. What helped you?
Pray: Do you have a critical decision to make right now? Ask the Lord for guidance.
Serve: How can you assist someone who is facing a crucial situation? How can you offer support?
Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Advent
We often think of angels as something out of a Precious Moments collection: cute, sweet and gentle. Yet the image we see in the Scriptures is often startling and overwhelming…after all, angels are always saying “Be not afraid!” when they show up.
Gabriel greets Mary and reveals the astonishing news of God’s plan for our salvation: Mary will be the mother of God as the Holy Spirit conceives a child in her womb. This is how the savior of humanity will enter into the world, taking on our likeness in all things but sin.
But note this: Mary had to respond. Although she was specifically chosen by God and prepared to become the mother of the messiah, she still had to give her consent. Her freedom to choose was essential in the plan of salvation. Why? Because the Almighty has not created us to be robotic slaves but free souls, souls that seek to grow in wisdom, courage and love.
God initiates the action, but he does not force us to act. Rather, the Lord invites us to respond so that we will grow, becoming more and more the persons we were meant to be.
This Christmas consider what the Lord is inviting you to do. Reflect on how God is working in your life and how you are being prompted to develop your life in new and powerful ways. Say yes to Jesus Christ, and see how the Lord will change your heart to become like his.
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Annunciation, Bottecelli, 1481, Uffizzi, Florence, Italy.