Obedience works wonders

24 December 2017 4th Sunday of Advent December 21, 2014

2 Sam 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38


May Tam


With this last Sunday of Advent, Christmas is knocking at the door. Many of us may well be ready for the celebration that is to come. But two thousand years ago, an unknown Jewish girl who brought forth the first Christmas, had her life-changing adventure began in today’s Annunciation story of Luke’s gospel. Let us revisit this extraordinary event.

It was extraordinary because the spiritual realm “touched base” with the material world—the invisible manifested itself to be visible. It was extraordinary because the Almighty God who, being the cause and source of everything and is in need of nothing, includes humanity’s (represented by Mary) cooperation and participation in His salvific plan. By the use of a diptych, we may see what it means.

First of all is the humility of God. As the Creator of all, He humbled Himself to become man, the creature. More so, He was born as a tiny helpless infant to a poor teenage girl. Mary, though felt herself unworthy (as the Lord’s lowly handmaid), yet in humility surrendered her will to the will of God. Secondly is the courage of God. The Son of God, upon His condescension, needed courage to put Himself totally into human hands—to go through life on earth as a true human being with all its pains, sorrows and sufferings. Not entirely understanding God’s salvific plan but definitely was aware of the consequence of an unmarried pregnancy, Mary needed courage to say “yes”. She was courageous to take up the responsibility to be the mother of “the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32), and her mission as the Mother of the whole human race. Thirdly is the obedience of God the Son. The God-Man was obedient to His heavenly Father to give up His authority in heaven and on earth so as to obey His earthly parents and subjected to all human laws. Mary was obedient to the words of the angel (who obeyed the word of God) and submitted to what was said, “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Lastly is the faith/trust. God was faithful of His promise to David (First Reading) and put His promise in trust of a young maid. Mary showed a readiness to do what God asked of her because of her faith and trust in Him even though she did not fully comprehend what and how it was to happen.

Before we open the door to welcome Christmas, let us reflect upon God’s way of salvation and thank Mary for her cooperation on our behalf, without which, God’s plan will not be so readily accomplished. Though “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), God’s plan includes our fiat. Our willingness to cooperate with God will surely bring about things that are beyond our abilities and imaginations.


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