A God of Second Chances
Reflection by Sister Mary Christopher Moore, cssf
The reading from Genesis reminds us that Mary is the new Eve. Through her, God will give humanity a second chance to get things right. Through her, God the Father will send the Son to redeem us from the sin of Adam and Eve. She is the chosen one.
But she is not a passive participant in this project of redemption. In the Gospel for today, we hear her courageously assent to the audacious plan of God. Fearful and troubled, she nontheless gives her unequivocal “yes” to the angelic messenger.
As we contemplate the image of this young girl thunderstruck by an announcement that will turn her life upside-down, we understand that she is fulfilling the destiny God planned for her from the very first moment of her being.
Likewise, God has plans for each one of us — “plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give hope and a future”. (Jer 29:11) As St. Paul says, “In him we were also chosen …” And yes, he does give second chances.
Gospel lk 1:26-38
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.