It began with the angel coming to Mary. “Hail full of grace!” That was the beginning - full of grace!” It was an invitation to be a part of God’s plan and she accepted it as her mission in life. It was a mission that would include an extraordinary birth, but that would begin with something quite ordinary, a visit in haste to her elderly aunt to assist her in her need.
How often are we concerned about whether we have done anything extraordinary to make our lives worthwhile? Mary reveals to us the extraordinary power of an “ordinary life” when it is a life responding to God’s grace. When we allow the Christ to be born anew in us, even the most ordinary event, such as helping another in need, can be extraordinary, if we allow ourselves to see the Christ in them and the other to see Christ present in us. But we must be ready to hear and answer the call and to accept it in our time as it comes to us from unexpected people and situations.
It may not be on Christmas Eve
When silver bells are ringing,
There may not be a starry sky
With hosts of angels singing.
It may be very dark the night
When she and God together,
Come seeking out my human heart
To shield them from the weather.
His mother may not be in blue –
I may not even know them –
Perhaps I’d best give all the world
The courtesy I’d show them.
And lest they take me by surprise,
I think it ample reason
To leave my heart’s expectant door
Flung wide in every season
Sr. Eileen Lomasney, CSJ