By Sem Roldan Baliano
“I am not yet ready Father.” These were the words I articulated when I was chosen to be the youth coordinator in our parish youth ministry years ago. Honestly, I was afraid to accept the position because of the possible pressures and anxieties that it might bring to me. I also felt that I did not deserve to be given that kind of responsibility. I did not have enough experience in leadership. I did not know how to speak in front of many young people and I did not know how to lead and direct them either.
However, my parish priest encouraged me and told me not to be afraid because God is with me and he will never fail to direct me. He related my feelings to the experience of Mary when she was told by the angel about the great plan of God. Despite the uncertainties, she still accepted and trusted His plan for her. This allowed Mary to trust and not worry. She let God take care of the plan and relied on His grace.
The Gospel invites me into this same type of trusting relationship. He has a plan of goodness for me and for each of us and He earnestly reminds me not to be afraid. All I need to do is to trust in the Lord, be steadfast in faith and be not afraid. For God, nothing is impossible. Truly, I may never understand His ways but I think it is a call for me to commit myself to Him. Also, the virtues exemplified by Mary inspire me to respond to the Lord with faith and trust. Her obedience speaks a lot of her faithfulness to God.
THE GOSPEL (December 12, 2019)
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.