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Archive for September 18th, 2015

Reflection on the Nativity of Mary: Uncertainty

Eric Hollas, OSB

8 September MMXV

[The following reflection first appeared in the September 2015 issue of Give Us This Day, published by The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.]

IMG_0265_2Like the prophet Micah’s Bethlehem-Ephrathah, there was nothing in the nativity of Mary to suggest she would be anyone out of the ordinary.  In common with most of God’s special servants, she was born in obscurity, and she seemed destined to live in obscurity.  But of course the Annunciation changed all that.

We may envy those God calls directly, but we should never assume that from that day forward they know exactly what God expects of them.  In Mary’s case, she had given her assent to be the mother of the Messiah, but at the end of the day she still pondered what all of this might mean.

Matthew illustrates the kind of trust Mary had to place in God.  As the angel spoke to Joseph, Mary was not even present to argue her own case.  With deep anxiety she must have waited for word from Joseph, praying that somehow God would see her through all this.

Like Mary, all people of faith at times wonder where God intends to take them.  And perhaps that uncertainty is the mark of mature faith.  In most cases God never lights our paths brilliantly.  But we walk on anyway, sure that God is guiding us to something important.  With faith we grab hold of God’s hand as we wander through life.  And like Mary, we walk, certain of only one thing.  God will lead us safely through to journey’s end, and beyond.

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