In today’s Gospel, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph were facing incredibly challenging positions. I can only imagine the inner turmoil both Mary and Joseph must have felt.
At the first moment when the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, she was troubled, but he reassured her saying, “Do not be afraid.” (Luke 1:30) After listening to Gabriel’s words and absorbing their meaning, Mary surrendered to the will of God completely.
Likewise, Joseph was troubled about the situation with Mary. He must have anguished over the best lawful way to respond and decided to divorce Mary quietly unwilling to expose her to shame. But God spoke to Joseph and again we heard, “Do not be afraid.” Joseph, too, surrendered to the will of God and immediately did as he was asked. (Matthew 1:20)
I find Mary and Joseph’s faith and trust in God both inspiring and intimidating. Frankly, it scares me because I know that is the same kind of trust I am called to have in God and sometimes I feel so far from it.
Too often, I am scared to open myself completely to God because I am afraid of what He may ask of me. I know that life is not perfect and that we all will have crosses to bear, but I fear just what those crosses may be. I feel like a kid in school sitting in the back of the classroom hoping that the teacher doesn’t call on me to answer a question. When God asks, Who will surrender themselves completely to me? I don’t want to raise my hand.
However, I also know that is no way to live. When we choose to love someone, we also accept the challenge of loving them through the good and through the difficult. The same goes with my relationship with God. I don’t want to be afraid to love Him. I don’t want to hold back. I don’t want to be afraid to say, I am yours, Lord. Use me as you will.
As we begin this third week of Advent, let’s open our hearts more fully to God. Take some time to ask yourself if there is something you are holding back from Him. Is there a fear in your heart you don’t want to face? Kneel before God and pour out your fears to Him. Take a deep breath and hear His words whispered to your heart, “Do not be afraid.”
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.