Mary: Praised by an Angel.
Quite rightly, Advent and Christmas meditations often invite us to reflect on the humility of Christ, who put aside his glory to become flesh and dwell among us. But have you ever thought about the angels as models of humility?
Consider Gabriel’s visit to Mary. It takes place far from the Temple in Jerusalem, in an insignificant little town. He is sent to a young woman who stands way outside the circles of power and prestige. Still, Gabriel hastens to Nazareth with the same readiness he displayed in his missions to influential men. His eagerness here prompts us to ask: “Do I undertake humble, hidden works as enthusiastically as those that showcase my abilities and make me feel important?”
Mary’s neighbours see her as an ordinary person doing ordinary things, like drawing water and making hummus. What Gabriel sees is a woman who “comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun, as awe-inspiring as bannered troops” (Song of Songs 6:10). Mary reflects God perfectly, and the angel affirms it: Wow! Awesome! “Hail, favoured one!” (Luke 1:28).
As Gabriel receives Mary’s wholehearted yes, he knows that this young woman is on track to become the person that God wants her to be. Are we as quick to recognise, praise, and advance God’s work in others—especially if we think they are likely to surpass us?
this is the season for miracles
and we pray for one today.
Where there is sorrow,
we pray for your grace to light the darkness.
Where is despair,
we pray for your hope to light the darkness.
Where there is hatred,
we pray for your forgiveness to light the darkness.
Where there is war,
we pray for your love to light the darkness.
Where there is confusion,
we pray for your peace to light the darkness.
Where there is injustice,
we pray for your courage to light the darkness.
Where there is fear
we pray for your joy to light the darkness.
It is the season for miracles
and we pray for one today:
Come, Lord Jesus, may your light come into our world.