In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
At the end of Advent it is very consoling to hear the explanation of the mystery that took place in the Virgin: “Nothing is impossible for God” (Lk 1:37). Nothing is impossible for Love. We must never think that everything depends exclusively on us. We need not live imprisoned by our capacities and our strengths. At times it seems that things are beyond repair, but beyond what we can see and understand, God is transforming everything for our good.
When we make room for his love and trust him, the impossible begins to become a reality. May we always count on the God of the impossible. When it seems that there is nothing that can be done, he is still there—God, for whom nothing is impossible.
Mary’s response to God is one of great simplicity: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Mary is the woman of “yes”. In her, we find God’s “yes” to humanity and humanity’s “yes” to God. The Virgin welcomes God without hesitation and procrastination. She does so with joy as well as decisiveness.
“Let it be done” translates the Greek verbal form, genoito, which indicates not the passive resignation of someone who has no other choice and lets things happen, but rather manifests the decision and responsibility of a person who actively commits herself. Our Lady accepts God’s plans as her own and welcomes the action of the Spirit in her heart and in her womb. In this way she becomes, as Benedict XVI called her, the “mother of the Word Incarnate” (Deus caritas est, 41).
God is still searching for men and women who, like Mary, will open up to him with infinite trust. He still needs people who are willing to collaborate with him in giving life to the world. He looks for men and women who are poor, who know how to hope and trust him, who take risks for others, and aren’t afraid to be docile to the action of the Spirit like Mary. God is still searching for people who listen to his word and believe in his promises like Mary.
The Son of God was born in Bethlehem, but he is present in the world today because of our faith and love. God continues to seek out hearts like Mary’s, ready to believe that nothing is impossible for God.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily (excerpt), Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 December 2020
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.