We have entered the season of Advent, so once again we begin another year of faith, another year seeking to understand what Jesus asks of me when he extends the invitation to come follow him. In our year of faith we always begin with a few weeks of meditation and reflection preparing ourselves to celebrate the Birth of Jesus. Then we follow the mysteries of Our Lord's life on earth that takes us into the upper room for the Last supper, the Garden of Gethsemane for the beginning of his Passion and on to Calvary where his life on earth was cruelly ended. But not quite.
The convert Mary Magdalene, would discover Christ Risen from the dead and the Apostles would soon find this out as well and over forty more days they would be renewed by the Lord in Faith, Hope and Love to be given their world-wide mission on the Day of Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven. They were now to preach His Gospel.
Now in 2019 in this Advent time we hear the Prophet Isaiah from the Old Testament times proclaim the wonder of the Messiah, we hear John the Baptist again ask us to make straight the ways of the Lord and we witness the quiet but firm faith of Mary as she answers the Angel's message "Let it be done to me according to Thy will". Quiet words of faith, hope and love that re-echo around the world at this time. They were brave words for a young girl in her time and culture. She was preparing for marriage, the Angel asks her to conceive a child. Who would believe the story. The penalty could easily have been sentence of death by stoning.
Another Quiet Man is revealed to us. He loves Mary, but does not know what has gone wrong, what she has been involved in. But he too responds to an Angel's message with an act of Faith and a heart full of kindness. He will take Mary home. This child will be their child and as a result of love and faith now he is our child also.
We think of our Faith today, what does Jesus ask me to accept when he says "Come follow me". Where is Jesus leading me and his answer again is "to the Father, whose home has many rooms". For his birth Jesus could find no room, His Gospel promises me a room in his Father's house. Every year of Faith hopefully leads us closer to this abundance of life. Let Mary be our way to trust.
Fr Hugh P Kelly