Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dec. 20, 2016: Tuesday of 4th Week of Advent

Dec. 20, 2016: Tuesday of 4th Week of Advent

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30

Through the words of the angel, we learn more of Mary’s mission. Like the phrase “The Lord is with you,” the notion of finding “favor with God” also would bring to mind a whole roster of Old Testament covenant mediators who were set apart for a special mission in God’s plan of salvation. It describes someone to whom God has entrusted much.

Noah was the first person in the Bible described as finding favor with God (see Genesis 6:8). God saved him and his family from the flood and gave him a covenant to be the head of a renewed human family. The next person to find favor with God was Abraham (see Genesis 18:2–3). God made a covenant with him, calling on his family to be the instrument through which he would bring blessing to all the nations of the world. Similarly, Moses, the covenant mediator who led Israel out of slavery in Egypt, found favor with God (see Exodus 33:12–17), as did David, for whom God established a kingdom (see 2 Samuel 15:25).

Like these great covenant mediators of the Old Testament, Mary has found favor with God. Walking in the footsteps of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, Mary now is called to serve as an important cooperator in the divine plan to bring salvation to all the nations.

In fact, the angel tells Mary, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son…. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:31, 32). Mary will bear a Son who will bring Israel’s history to its climax. She will be the Mother of Israel’s long awaited Messiah-King.

For Reflection
How well am I fulfilling the responsibilities God has entrusted to me—in my family, my work, my parish, or my community? What can I do to live these out more faithfully “in God’s favor”?

Dear Lord, this Advent season, help me to be a better steward of what you’ve entrusted to me. Show me ways to be more faithful wherever you have placed me.

-Edward Sri, "Advent of Christ"