Thursday, December 20, 2007

Overshadow You

December 20, 2007

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:13-14

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38


Here I am Lord. I come to do your will. Amen.


Think of your last big decision. What was it?

Picking a college?

Refinancing your mortgage?

Buying a new/used car?

Taking a vacation?

Getting married?


How did you come about making your final choice?

Reading articles in the newspaper or Consumer Reports?

Making a decision based upon your gut reaction?

Figure out the costs and benefits?

Scouring the internet for advice and ideas?

Evaluating the alternatives by drafting up a list of “plusses” and “minuses?”

Phoning a friend?

Polling the audience?

Having Regis eliminate two of the choices for you?

Magic 8-ball?

Rolling the dice?

A rational model would have us process four steps:

  1. Identifying the problem
  2. Generating alternative solutions
  3. Selecting a solution
  4. Implementing and evaluating the solution

Mary is the case study in discernment and decision-making. Mary chose none of the above.

She doesn’t totally reject a rational model outright. She starts to use one with Gabriel. “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” That dialogue doesn’t last long as she quickly comes to realize that discerning with an angel is like arguing with a major league umpire.

There are many ways to arrive at a decision. One way to look at this process would be to use our way or God’s way. Today, we see Mary get herself out of the picture. She doesn’t get weary worrying about what will happen? What will the neighbors think? What will my family think? She doesn’t even think about Joseph directly or by name.

She is very comfortable using God’s way and taking herself and her ego out of the picture. Mary allows God to overshadow her own wishes and desires. Giving herself up makes the final decision fast and easy for her.

God would never ask her to do something bad. So, it barely takes her a nanosecond in Luke’s account of her meeting with Gabriel to come to her ultimate decision.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.


How can we use Mary’s example to guide us with the big and the little decisions that we make everyday?

What decisions will you make today? Let the Lord overshadow you.

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