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Everything Old Is New Again

December 20, 2013

Reflection

 

Okay…so…the first thing that comes to my mind, as I reflect on these readings is, “Everything old is new again”.  Let me explain.

 

As humans, we sometimes tend to think that our challenges/obstacles/ problems are new and can only be felt by us.  But, think about it.  Way back in the Old Testament, people were confused and grappling with the concept of asking and tempting God.  When the Lord told Ahaz to ask for a sign, the first thing out of his fear filled mouth was, “I will not ask!  I will not tempt the Lord”.   How many times have we been told to ask the Lord for help, or guidance, or anything, and the first thing we thought was “OH NO!  I am not going to tempt God (which usually means make God mad) by making him think that I want too much, or that I am too lazy, or of too little faith, or some other humanoid concept. 

 

Everything old is new again.

 

Everything belonged to the Lord before the Beginning.  Everything belongs to the Lord, today.  No matter how messed up we make things on this earth, no matter how many bombs we drop, no matter how many tornadoes, tsunamis, floods, wind storms, internal or external terrorists, or general craziness that happens from day to day, “…the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it…belong to the Lord.”  It belonged then and it belongs now.

 

Everything old is new again.

 

Like our Virgin Mother, how many times have unseen and/or wingless angels, or internal spirits spoken to us with confusing and/or unexpected news and we were jolted into fear and confusion.  When this happens we, usually, zero in on that which most confuses us.  Upon learning that she was to bear a child, our Virgin Mother asked, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”  Interesting to me is the fact that our Virgin Mother had already resigned herself to the situation.  She did not say, “This can not be”.  She asked, “How can it be?”  Other interesting thing to me is that she did not respond as I would have, which would have been something like, ‘You must be nuts!  I ain’t gonna be takin’ care of no baby.  I can’t afford this right now. You better get outta here!

 

She accepted her fate, once she was told that this was to be the Son of God.  She did not say, well, I would have preferred a daughter, but I’ll work with the Son.  No, she only said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.”  That is something that I have noticed that Christians will do.  How many times have you, yourself said, “It is all in the hands of God, and let God’s Will Be Done”.   Mary did not have the advantage of the New Testament.  Today’s Christians do not have the advantage of Post Revelations, but we must try to Believe.  We must accept that God’s Will is probably better than our fear. We must know that, then and now, God’s Will is Supreme and can withstand our worst nightmares. 

 

Everything old is new again. 

 

Thought Questions

 

1.  In the coming year, how do you plan to approach your Virgin Mary Birth Announcement moments?

 

2. Do you wonder why our Virgin Mother did not even mention the news about Elizabeth, being past “child-bearing” age was suddenly fertile?  Do you think this was selfish of Mary?  Why? 

 

3.  Does God really pay attention to our anger, or address our fears?  Can you think of a moment when the aforementioned was one of your concerns?  What happened?  Are you okay with the outcome, to this very day?
 

4.  Do you think Mary may have cursed God, at any time, during the crucifixion?  Why?  Would you still love her, as the Mother of the Son of Man, if she did “lose it’ during that awful time?  Why?

 

My prayer:

 

Dear Lord,

 

I love you.

 

Amen.

 

By Sophia Berkley

 

 

 

Readings

 

Reading 1 IS 7:10-14

 

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” 
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David! 
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God? 
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

 

R. (see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.


The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

 

Gospel LK 1:26-38

 

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Tags: sophia berkley, virgin mother, mother mary, angel, archangel, old, new, again, advent, online advent retreat, advent retreat, st agatha

Comments

Fr. Bill  |  LA  |  December 20, 2013  |  8:57 PM

Sophia, you're brilliant! Thank you for pointing out to me something profound that I had consistently missed--that this reading pertains to all of us--when we know we need to ask God, and are afraid to. Sometimes we are afraid to "test" Him, but in my case, it usually means I don't want to put whatever it is into His hands! I'm afraid He'll make me do something I don't want to do. (I often joke about having to keep the Holy Spirit on a very short leash!) Your reading shows me that the "joke" is really, very often, my modus operandi. What will it take for me to know that I can realy trust God's providence to do good things for me? 


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