If God used Balaam’s donkey to get that prophet’s attention, I guess he can use me to get yours. May these periodic postings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month (God willing) generate fruitful discussion and faithful change.
In the first reading today (Gen 3:9-15, 20) we revisit the fall of our first parents. Adam and Eve forfeited “Paradise” out of pride. We should know “better” than to follow their sinful example. Yet, we are prone to do so and have been no less prideful or sinful.
How patient our Lord has been, is and will be with us! We, His creation, persist in offending Him by the choices we make. God, in His infinite mercy, continues to forgive, love and shower us with His graces. He desires all of us to be with Him eternally. We did not, do not, and never will deserve such a gift and such love!
Have we showed Him the love and appreciation He deserves for giving us such an undeserved and eternal gift by the way we have lived our lives? Or have we, like Adam and Eve, “done it our way”? It should be obvious that God deserves much better than what we have given Him to date.
But we forget! - His way leads to Paradise; our way to hell. The choice seems so obvious. Why then the on-going struggle to choose wisely?
In today’s Gospel (Lk 1:26-38) we hear the angel Gabriel’s familiar greeting to our heavenly mother Mary: “Hail full of grace”. We repeat that salutation every time we pray the “Hail Mary”. As a result, we sometimes forget the significance of those words and the rest of this Scripture passage.
When told by the angel that she, a virgin, would conceive the God-man, she asked him: “How can that be?” His reply – she would conceive not naturally but by the power of the Holy Spirit - was all Mary needed to hear. Without further hesitation, she said “let it be done to me according to they word”.
How often have we said “How can this be?” in response to promptings we have received – some no doubt from the Holy Spirit? Today’s solemnity should be an unmistakable reminder that, like Mary, we must also say “Yes” to whatever God asks of us, knowing and trusting He will give us whatever assistance is necessary to fulfill His request.
Mary’s “fiat” changed the eternal fate of mankind. In a similar but lesser way, God will use our “Yes” to His invitations to change the hearts and souls of those known to Him.
But remember: He will not use us, if we say “No” to Him.
Pray that we may never let our selfishness and fear deprive us of the privilege of being part of God’s perfect plan.