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Imagine what it would be like to have an unexpected encounter with an angel.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - You are just having a typical day, going about your business and regular routine, when all of a sudden a heavenly visitor appears before you. Not only does he talk to you, but he also shares an extraordinary message that challenges everything you understand to be true and changes everything in your future.

For a young virgin named Mary, this actually happened. Her profound meeting not only would transform her life, but the very history of the world.

When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her, he said:

“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.”

Her final response has been echoed throughout the ages. “Let it be to me as you have said.” In Latin – “FIAT.”

When the Angel shared this great news with Mary, she said, “How can this be?” Could it be that even in the encounter there was a move from fretting to faith? Could it be that the process is itself instructive?

After receiving the astonishing word from Gabriel, her response was how can this amazing event actually take place? From a purely human point of view, everything seemed unbelievable.

She was betrothed, but still a virgin. She was committed to Joseph and would remain chaste until her marriage. How could she be the mother of the Messiah?

Mary reveals the plight of humanity. When left to ourselves, the impossible is just that – impossible. She looks at the reality of her situation and must exercise her human freedom.

Gabriel then offers more detail about the prophesied birth and ends with the words, “nothing is impossible with God.”

At this point, Mary offers her FIAT – “Let it be.”

Nothing is impossible with God. This is the key! We are so limited, constricted to a world that we can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. There is so much more, when looking at life from the Lord’s point of view.

On the last Sunday of Advent, we are reminded of this divine encounter in the gospel reading. We see the young girl, we hear the good news from the Archangel, and we are reminded of the fact that, with God, all things are possible.

Do believe the promises of God or are we still living in the fog of fretting? Are we really aware that God is with us through Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances? The presence and power of the Holy Spirit is continuing to work in the world as He did when the Messiah was conceived in the womb of the virgin?

We have a choice; to continue to fret, based on our human limitations or come to a place of faith, where we will surrender to the will of God and His work in our lives and in our world.

This New Year will bring with it new challenges. Last year most of us would have never imagined that only twelve months later we would face economic and employment trials currently before us.

Each of us will face the uncertainty of tomorrow.We will either fret or have faith that the One who said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” will fulfill His promise.


Randy Sly is a communications specialist and Associate Editor for Catholic Online. A former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, he has served in full-time Christian ministry for over 30 years. He and his wife Sandy came into the full communion of the Catholic Church three years ago.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



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