In a few short days, Christmas will be here. Every year I resolve to make this a holy Advent and not to get wrapped up in the commercialism or the busyness of the season and really prepare my heart to receive the Christ Child. Inevitably, I reach a point where I am stressing out over everything that I have to finish. My tendency, besides skipping prayer all together, is to rush through my daily devotional so I can check “prayer” off the To Do list and get back to my stressful day.
Today’s Gospel is challenging me to look at this day in a different way by focusing on Mary’s attitude. Here she was newly pregnant and in a situation that was less than ideal—how is she going to explain this to Joseph? What will other people think? What will this mean for her future life? However, instead of stressing, she responds with humility and docility to God’s will.
Furthermore, when she hears about her cousin Elizabeth she immediately sets out to be with her during her pregnancy. When Mary is greeted by Elizabeth her mind is not consumed with all the how’s and why’s of the situation, rather, it is consumed with gratitude to God and her heart cannot contain it a moment longer. She speaks the beautiful words of the Magnificat and praises God and his goodness.
Today is our opportunity to just stop. Turn it all off and quiet ourselves, even for just a few moments, and look beyond the To Do list or the dirty dishes and mess of toys on the floor or the term paper or work deadline looming over our head and just breath in Mary’s words, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.” We, too, are his handmaids and God has done amazing things in our lives. Despite all the difficulties or the crosses we may have at the moment, God never fails to show us His mercy, His love, and His strength when we are weak. So today, when you feel yourself troubled or stressed, stop a moment and think of something you are especially grateful to God for and repeat the words of Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . .”
Bobbi Rol is full time mom to a tween daughter, three rambunctious little boys, and two babies in heaven. She lives in California with her husband, Brian. You can find out more about her here.