Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Today's Mass Readings


The story of Mary’s Annunciation is a high point in the Advent liturgy, as it was a high point in the history of salvation. This is the moment of both Mary’s “Yes” and the savior’s conception.

There are two vocations at play in this story: God’s and Mary’s. Before Mary was offered a mission, God had his own urgent mission: to reconcile all human beings who were alienated from Him by sin. He intended to accomplish this mission by sending his own Son among them and approached Mary through the angel Gabriel and asked her to be a part of his mission. She said “Yes” and by that act allowed God’s mission to become her own.

Ahaz in the first reading said “no” to God’s invitation to participate in his mission of saving the people of Israel. Ahaz was afraid and refused to ask for a sign; he did not want to get involved in God’s vocation. “Very well,” said God, “I will do it anyway, without your cooperation.”

As we reflect on our own vocation, we should be aware that God is recruiting us to be part of his mission. Our happiness lies in being able to say, like Mary, “Let your mission become mine.”

Reflection by Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB

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