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Mission POSSIBLE, a reflection on the Annunciation

Today, we, the Church, celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord which is where Angel Gabriel appears to the young Mary and announces that she would become the Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Skydiving, climbing Mount Everest, and saving a burning village just doesn't seem as daunting as being the Mother of God. Angel Gabriel's first words to Mary were, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). Mary, however, was "troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be" (Luke 1:29). The Angel said that she was favored by God! Is that not a good thing? Why, then, would she be troubled?

Most likely, Mary was pondering the questions- who me? Why would God favor me? Why would He call me? She was flabbergasted! Mary was only a teenager when Angel Gabriel appeared to her, and yet, it is she who God chose.

The Bible has countless examples of God choosing the meek and the seemingly ordinary to fulfill what appears to many as impossible missions. Moses, a man who was slow in speech, is called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Jeremiah, still in his youth, is appointed to be a prophet for the nations. Mary Magdalene, a woman, was called to be the first witness of Christ's Resurrection during a time when a woman's testimony was considered invalid. Peter, a fisherman, is called to become the first Pope of our beloved Church. Paul, a past persecutor of Christians, is called to conversion and is tasked with converting others to the Christian faith.

Like Mary, many of them asked in some way or another, "How can this be?" Mary was trying to comprehend how she can become the Mother of Jesus when she had no relations with a man. Moses doubted his ability to lead others, because he felt that he could not speak eloquently. Jeremiah struggled with the call to be a prophet, because he felt that he was too young.

How often do we find ourselves asking this same question? We hear God calling us on a mission, but our fear, doubts and insecurities get in the way of our ability to answer His call. We make excuses for why the mission is impossible for us to fulfill, and we forget the Truth that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called (Hebrews 13:21, Romans 8:30).

God could have called the most charismatic public speaker instead of Moses to free the Israelites out of slavery. God could have appeared to one of the male Apostles instead of Mary Magdalene and several other woman to share about Christ's glorious Resurrection. God could have called someone more "qualified" to be the Mother of God, Jesus Christ, but He didn't. He calls us all- the meek, the humble, the rich, the poor, the sinner, and the like.

God, however, does not leave us with these missions without help! He gives us everything that we need to fulfill His mission. Angel Gabriel's response to Mary's question was, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you...for nothing will be impossible for God" (Luke 1:35). God provides her all that she needs for her mission just like He did with Moses, Jeremiah, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Paul, and yes, even you!

Whatever mission God has assigned you, remember that God has not left you to go about it all alone. The Holy Spirit is with you and truly, nothing is impossible for God! Although she could not fully grasp what was said to her, Mary responds with her beautiful fiat, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). Her firm faith, trust, love and obedience to God's will is what makes Mary the Saint above all Saints! She had faith that God could do the impossible, trust that God would give her everything she needed to fulfill the mission of all missions, and the obedience to accept His will over her own despite the costs that it would bring. Why? Because she loved Him with her whole heart!

God calls each and every one of us on a mission. He has called you by name! Do not be afraid, because God is with you! All that is required from us is to simply answer His call with faith, trust, love and obedience.

May we allow God to work through us and trust that He equips us with everything we need to fulfill our mission! Mother Mary, pray for us!

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