Mary The Brave Village Woman

During Advent, we commemorate the Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus. We remember this with gratitude to God for informing Mary the mother of Jesus that the Saviour or the Messiah or the Christ was to be born. Today we celebrate this event in a happy mood. But to comprehend the depth of this happening it is necessary to have a sound understanding of the background of this occurrence.

This message was given to a young virgin from a village who was engaged to a carpenter. They would have had their own dreams of making a happy family and having children of their own. Then when Mary received this message from the angel Gabriel all their dreams would have shattered into pieces. This is where we get the climax of this experience. That is the way they faced this challenge.

In that society, if a young woman got pregnant before the marriage the punishment was stone to death. Not only in that society even today in some countries they have punishments of this nature. Joseph and Mary took the risk and faced this situation. What was this risk? This risk was the openness to the unknown future. This openness was their faith to fulfil the will and purpose of God to redeem the world.

If we are willing to have faith in God we cannot avoid this risk. We should take calculated risks to promote the will of God in our world. But often we are reluctant to take risks and be open to the future. This cannot be developed at once. First of all, we should learn to have our trust in God and our sisters and brothers.

Without any doubt, most of you would tell me that we can trust God but it is so hard to trust people. Yes, this is true. But this is where we develop our faith. It is impossible to have faith in God without having faith in our sisters and brothers.

That’s why Jesus said that when you offer your sacrifice at the altar if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and reconcile with your brother and then come and offer your sacrifice.

Mary had to have faith in Joseph and most probably with some people close to them. Joseph had to have faith in Mary. On this circle of trust and faith, God was able to use them to fulfil his will and purpose to bring redemption to our world.

Are we ready to have this faith in Mary? Very often when are called to take risks to fulfil the purposes of God we run away and try to give all sorts of excuses to justify ourselves. But that rural village girl called Mary is challenging us today to consider taking calculated risks to be part of the redemption plan of God.

Let's ask God to grant us his grace to become an active member of his kingdom to fulfil his will and purpose.