advent reflection ~ Day 21

God indeed is my savior, I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.   Isaiah 12, 2-3


Mary had many reasons to fear. As an unwed mother, she imperiled her relationship with Joseph, her espoused husband. She also risked her life. In those days, adultery was punishable by death.

As the mother of a savior, her future would one day hold unimaginable grief. Her baby boy would grow up to suffer and die on a cross.

But was she swayed by all the uncertainties? Did she succumb to fear? After thinking about the angel’s message, did she say: “God, This plan is frightening. Maybe you should find someone else to be the mother of your son.”

Though Mary could’ve said no, she freely choose to say yes.

Our blessed mother proclaimed her yes in a canticle of praise:

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on, all generations will call me blessed; ~Luke 1:46-55

Mary’s song reminds us that we need not succumb to the things we fear. Though the Lord’s plan might feel scary, we can trust that our yes will be blessed.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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