Advent 2022

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: What is Your Response?

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How would you respond if God spoke to you right now? Not in a vague way—a whisper in the wind or a sign you interpret in your life—but in the form of an angel, appearing before you in a flash of light?

Whatever God has to say, it would no doubt cause a change in your life. Do you look forward to the burning questions in your heart that God may answer? Or are you afraid of the things God might ask, how the plan you have for your life could be turned on its head by what you hear?

I think our initial reaction to these questions can give us insight into our own interior image of God and how we relate to God. One may respond like Adam in the garden, afraid of the sin they had committed and wanting to hide their face from God. One may respond like Mary, at first confused and unsure of what God is asking, but ultimately convinced of God’s love and trusting in God’s plan.

Advent is a time of preparation, of taking stock of our spiritual lives and making room for Jesus. The Lord is coming, and what is your response? If your response is fear or shame, what is the root of those emotions—are there wounds in your life that remain unhealed? If your response is irritation at having to change your plans for God—was there room for God in those plans in the first place? If your response is peace and joy—where does your trust in God come from?

This Advent, I challenge you to take some time to reflect on how you feel about God arriving in your life today. I pray that through deeper understanding of how you see God, any obstacles you have put up may fall away and on Christmas Day, you have a chance to sing a new song the Lord.

What song will that be?