Second Wednesday in Advent - December 12th
Today’s readings promote reflection on the power of being chosen. The first reading focuses on God choosing Jerusalem. The second reading speaks of God choosing a woman who will be above all women on earth. The third reading tells the story of a frightened Mary at the time she learns she is the chosen one.
Anyone who has ever been chosen for something knows something of the fear and the elation that can come with being the “choice.” On a college campus we all know of being chosen by a school. We watch as many around us seek to be chosen by an employer or another school. We know the elation of being chosen for a team or a play or an organization. We generally think of being chosen in positive terms.
This story, however, tells of a young woman greatly troubled by both the manner of learning she is chosen and the knowledge itself. Being chosen is not always a positive experience. Each of us can think of times when being chosen was neither what we wanted nor what we sought. Mary did not seek out the honor of “being above all women on earth” and certainly was not expecting a visit from an angel.
What makes Mary’s experience so powerful is how she responds to the news. She accepts the choice and agrees to fulfill the obligations of being chosen. Reflecting on her response, provides a lesson for each of us in how we respond to the times we are chosen. It is easy to respond positively to being the chosen one when you have sought that position. How we respond to being chosen when we have not sought that result often presents the more powerful opportunity for growth and reflection.
Villanova School of Law