3rd Week of Advent (20th December, 2018)
First Reading: Is 7: 10-14 (The virgin with a child)
Gospel: Lk 1: 26-38 (You shall conceive and bear a son)
Grace of God is never a thing one deserves to get. It is favour of God granted to any one of His choice. His favour makes people not glorify themselves or anyone better in the eyes of people in comparison with others but becomes more and more humble and docile to the Spirit of the Lord. In other words, the more God’s favour in one’s life, more humble and more obedient one becomes in their life.
We find exactly the same things in the life of Mother Mary too. When we go through the meaning of Gospel on the angel announcing the Good News to Mother Mary, we find that there are series of God’s grace showered upon the latter. First the Angel tells Mary, “Greetings, you are highly favoured! The Lord is with You”. Then the Angle says, “Mary, you have found favour with God”. Further the Angel says, “The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”. To all the greetings and signs of favour upon her, Mother Mary said, “I am the Lords’ Servant. May your word be me be fulfilled”. The virtue of humility and God’s grace always go together. It is a indeed difficult to say if humility causes God’s favour or God’s favour makes one more humble.
The sermon on the Mountain says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Mt 5: 5). Then we see in Letter of James, “But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”” (Jam 4: 6). That grace of God makes one humble. This phenomenon appears in many instances of the gospels. For instance, the centurion who sought Jesus’ intervention in the cure of his servant says, “I am not worthy to receive you but only say the Word and my servant shall be healed” (Mt 8: 8). He said when Jesus expressed his desire to be at his house to cure his servant and thereby revealing God’s favour upon them. Then we see also in the case of Zacchaeus, Jesus manifests his desire to dine with Zacchaeus. That was sufficient to make him humble and set himself worthy in the eyes of God. So, he says, “Look, half of my possession, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much” (Lk 19: 8). This is true in the case of St. Paul too. After he received the light and grace from the Lord, (from then on) he remained obedient and humble servant of God. Today we need to ponder on what Micah says, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
We need to humble ourselves so that we experience God’s grace in our life and express it in our actions too. For “God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 5: 5-6). Amen.