How deep and unconditional has your surrender to God been lately? Maybe you’re keeping the Lord at an arm’s length. Maybe you’ve been diving deeper in your relationship with Him and giving Him control this Advent season. Regardless of where you are on your journey of surrender, I think it’s important to see what these readings are pointing at today, and more importantly who.
In the first reading, we hear God reiterate His desire to bless His people. More specifically, He challenges them to put His faithfulness and goodness to the test. He tells Ahaz to ask for a sign on behalf of his people, with a promise to fulfill their most sought after request- but Ahaz declines.
At first, I wonder why, but then I think of all the times I’ve limited God in my life. Time and time again I have been content with mediocrity for fear of stepping out and seeing where deeper surrender and trust in Him will take me. I like keeping God in a box for fear of the unknown.
Isaiah speaks clearly: “Must you weary my God”? In other words, do you really not trust in the goodness of the Father? Our God is not a tyrant who uses power to tease us, no. In fact, Isaiah says, as a sign of His love and faithfulness, He wants to be even closer to us- “this shall be your sign…a virgin shall conceive and bear a son… Emmanuel. ” More than just a sign, these words are pointing to a real person- “God with us”.
This prophecy was brought to fruition in our Blessed Mother. Why do we call her blessed? Because where others might settle for mediocrity, she did not. Where others might have turned away, she surrendered in her entirety. What Mary proves to us today in these readings is plain and simple: God can do great things in a fully surrendered heart. Can He work in all people? Absolutely, but God never forces Himself upon anyone.
We think in order to be full we have to achieve our own happiness. But this is the paradox of life: we have to first empty ourselves to be filled. It seems counterproductive to do so. The world teaches us to grasp at happiness. In the gospel today, we watch Mary, contrary to Eve, choosing not to grasp, but to give full and complete surrender to someone greater than herself. This surrender resounds throughout the rest of her life. Mary always fully surrendered- trusting God to fill her. And God did indeed fill her: literally.
I think the psalm puts it so beautifully today, “Let the Lord enter, He is the King of glory” – when we empty ourselves to the point of total surrender, we make room for the incarnate Christ in our own bodies, just like Mary. We become a tabernacle for the Word made flesh. And when we do, the King of Glory is made manifest for the whole world to see, and we are filled with all the fullness of life. Surrender is such a small price to pay to receive true fulfillment. Brothers and sisters, let the King of Glory enter.
Taylor Tripodi from Cleveland, OH is on a mission to put people in an encounter with Christ through true, good, and beautiful music. After serving the Church for 2 years as a youth minister, her desire to bring hope to broken, hurting souls has led her to become a full-time musician, singer-songwriter, and worship leader. Taylor’s music and ministry have led her all around the world, most recently leading worship in the Holy Land in Israel. This past year she was named one of the top 30 Catholic artists in the world and her newest EP ‘Awakening’ released in August 2019 just hit over 350k streams on Spotify. In her spare time, she writes blogs for Ascension Press and enjoys spending time with her 8 younger siblings and big, Italian family.