Commentary on the Gospel of

Vivian Amu - St. John's Parish

 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

   

I love the question the Lord God asked Adam, “who told you that you were naked?”  As if he won’t realize he had no clothes on.  I think anyone of us would be aware if we were completely naked---in a garden or anywhere else.  Jokes apart -- we were born to feel comfortable in our nakedness.  We were born to sit peacefully with trust in our vulnerability because we know we are chosen as one of the beloved at the moment of our birth. We are cared for, and we have faith that our needs will be met.  We have purpose….we are full of grace. However, at some point, we get distracted from the path, we lose focus, we get lured away from the garden God has placed us in for our delight and protection.  We find ourselves to be Adams and Eves hiding from the light that exposes all our disobedience, our ungraceful moments, and all our distrust in God's plan. The garden of God has all we need, yet we find ourselves unsatisfied….needing more…..needing that which is not good for us…..needing stuff and more stuff.  When we get lost in our detour from God’s work, we might blame others and say, “Lord, it is not my fault someone else made me do it," or "Lord, I would have done what you asked, but I was afraid,” or even, “Lord, why me?” 

What happens when we say yes to an opportunity, a person, a transition, or a request? For Adam and Eve, their response of yes to the trickster serpent led them astray, and by disobeying God, they said no to God. When we say yes to God, we are left with the same vulnerability and feeling of nakedness as Adam and Eve, but so much more is gifted to us at the end of it. 

At the risk of sounding like a coward, one of my fears during prayer is to actually hear God asking me to do something difficult.  So I spend a lot of time talking rather than listening in prayer. What if God should ask me to give of myself in a way I am not courageous enough to give?  What happens if I am unable to give the request a good Mary yes?  Would God be disappointed?  Would God ask me again?

To some, Blessed Mother Mary might seem to be a distant figure, maybe even someone we have trouble identifying with or sitting with daily.  However, Mary came into the world just like us in many ways -- born from a mother who loved her the moment she laid eyes on her.  Mary lived like many of us, with struggles and in perilous times.  She can identify with those living in poverty and identify with those who feel a little different.  The Blessed Mother is just like us; she has loved and lost.  She already knows how we feel when we are uncertain, afraid, and longing for purpose.  She is us, and we are her.  We are also God bearers, bearers of the Word. That is what we were all born to do.  Have you given God's call a good Mary Yes?  Do you trust God with your life path? Are you still afraid to say yes to God?

On this day, we not only celebrate the conception of our Blessed Mother, but we also celebrate her courage, her faith, and her part in our salvation.  As Mary's life had a Holy purpose, we also have a Holy purpose born from our longing to participate in God's message of love. May we have the courage to say yes to God.

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Anthony Anthony
on 8/12/21
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