Note: Watch a video of Dean Woo's Advent Reflection here.
Before we got
married, my husband David and I talked about our greatest fears. He, as an only child, was most worried about
being a good parent as he had no confidence that he would know all the right
things to do. I, from a big family of six
children, quickly dismissed his concerns and thought we could easily fit
another person into our family; and that we have enough good sense to be good
We were of
course both blown away when our sons came into our lives. David's concerns about parenting were not
less relevant but they were completely subsumed by this incredible desire to
love well and a sense that love would be our teacher. Before my
problem-solving self kicked into action, I felt that our lives could
never be the same as the babies in our arms were the closest experiences of
God's presence and how He had entrusted a part of Himself with us.
When the angel
Gabriel approached Mary, she was at first "greatly troubled" and
afraid. She did ask "how can this
be?" Gabriel then continued, not with
details or a game plan on how Mary's future would unfold, but just stated
simply that this is an invitation from God who had found favor with her. He was enlisting her to bring about His grand
plan for salvation. By the way, for His
part, God would send His spirit to her, His power to protect her and with Him,
nothing is impossible. To God, with
God, Mary gave the second most celebrated "YES" in salvation
We may think
that the clarity by which Mary received her invitation is beyond our experience.
But is it really? Is God's invitation
really that muffled that we cannot detect it? What about His words in Scriptures,
His "yes" to His father, the miracles that fill our daily lives? Do
we not know the desperate needs of so many people that make us realize there is
work to do to bring about His kingdom here and now?
hear the call, but perhaps, we are afraid.
We think that we may not be able, may not have enough to share, may not
We hear of the
call and we think of all the things that can go wrong, the difficulties of
leaving of what we know for what we do not know. We forget that there is no call from God when
He is not part of the package. Did we
stop to ponder in awe that the call of God is the chance to bring Him into our
God calls all
about a "Yes?"