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Advent Day 7: Are you afraid to say “Yes”?

Receiving a diagnosis of an illness is never easy. In fact, it might be nearly impossible to understand. Each of us has our own way of dealing with it. For some, the news of putting a name to symptoms is a relief. For others, it is a thing of terror. Still others cannot face such news and do everything they can to avoid or deny it.

Today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are reminded of one woman who said, “Yes” when asked by God to do something completely outside her realm of understanding.  Not “I’ll think about it.” Not, “Can I get back to you?” Not, “Oh, I could never!”

When the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary and told her that she would conceive and bear a son, Mary asked a very good question, “How can this be..?” And, when the angel answered her question, she immediately and completely agreed. And then, she was able to walk along the path God willed for her.

For us to walk our path this Advent season and beyond, we, too, need to strive for “Yes,” even with and in spite of illness and pain. Yes, these are not easy burdens. But if we deny them, we would be denying part of what makes us us.

Fear is a natural reaction to anything startling or unwelcome. Mary was afraid when Gabriel first appeared. But her fear quickly turned to acceptance, signaling that trust in God can overcome fear.

Acceptance does not mean our lives will get worse or better. But it does mean that we stand ready to do God’s work, as Mary did, no matter what we are called upon to do.

Blessings for the day,


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