December 20, 2013

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
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.

Reflection(Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniiquito):

     Today’s Gospel is the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary sending a message that she will bear a son, who is the promised Messiah. And question to the angel is, “how can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”

     In my experience before I entered the seminary, I was blessed by God for giving me a job. I graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007 and passed the Nursing Licensure Examination in that same year. Few days after the oath taking, I was accepted as a Public Health Nurse. I was thankful to God because at that time the job opportunities for nurses were already on the decline since then I was employed until before entering the seminary. Realizing that wonderful experience and full of God’s gracious gift, I rejoiced and I was so glad for all the blessings He has given to me. The everyday challenge for me in my job is to practice a tender loving care to all patients especially to the needy and less fortunate. I exhausted my effort to show them concern and compassionate love. I could not do that if my actions were not rooted from the will of God.

     Then God called me to the priestly vocation. So I asked, “How can this be? I already have a very good job and I am unworthy to be a servant of God?” But now I am already in the seminary, in the third year of formation.

     Indeed, it is a wonderful surprise, a grace coming from heaven. Just as Mary has an important role in today’s Gospel. She is a servant, but not just an ordinary servant, a faithful and loving servant of God. I love how Mary responded to the angel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” The total submission of Mary to God is a model of obedience. How about us? Until when are we going to submit ourselves to God?

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