With Mary We Rejoice as Christ Nears
Advent Reflections
Father Kenneth Anderson, pastor, St. Thomas Aquinas, Freeport
December 17, 2020
I n parishes just about every place, before the Mass, there is a faithful group of men and women that prays the rosary. The rhythm of this prayer draws the pray-ers and those in their midst into the story of God’s love and faithfulness. 
Luke invites us to consider the encounter between Mary and the Angel, so as to share in the graces revealed in the Annunciation. United with Mary in faithfulness we are invited to draw deeply into the mystery of the Incarnation.
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” The angel Gabriel’s greeting, and assurance of, “Do not be afraid,” points to the fact that Mary has a unique place in the story of salvation. 
Such a summons helps us to understand that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
And how is it that Mary consents to be the Theotokos, the God-bearer? Perhaps it was time with her family in prayer, reflecting on the sacred scriptures, and being in the midst of faithful and holy people. 
For us our communion with the Blessed Mother occurs when we pray, receive the Body of Christ, ponder the scriptures, and do works of charity. St. Thomas Aquinas suggests for us, that if we are to discover God, it is by seeking those elements which are good, true and beautiful.
In a world in which we often encounter sin and confusion we can no longer be hobbled by fear. With Mary as our icon of faithfulness we endeavor to serve God faithfully by becoming Christ-bearers in our world. 
The mystery of our salvation helps us to believe in the possibility of God’s love and mercy. Christmas reveals to us a light shining in darkness. With Mary may we also give our unconditional “Yes” to the Father.
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