2017 - Advent Reflection: Hail, Full of Grace! The Lord is with You.
Reflection by Sr. Gail Mayotte, SASV - Academic Director, ACE M.Ed.
In this season of Advent as we draw ever nearer to welcome the birth of our Savior, we pause in week four to revisit the moment of Annunciation. The angel Gabriel greets Mary:
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
I love this moment of greeting, extended with joy, acknowledging Mary with deference, and expressing the love of God. At first Mary is troubled, but she receives the greeting in faith and accepts to welcome Christ within her with the words, “May it be done to me according to your word."
While not with the same type of greeting as the angel Gabriel engaged Mary, we nevertheless have opportunities to extend joy, acknowledge another's presence, and share God's love through our greetings. We host tailgates and greet visitors to campus on football weekends, we welcome families at our school doors in multiple languages, and we give a high five or handshake to students to welcome them to their classrooms and to let them know we are glad they are there. In each greeting is the opportunity to generate warmth, put the other at ease, and express joy.
Soon, we'll transition to other greetings in Scripture–an innkeeper welcoming a weary couple to a manger, an angel greeting shepherds in a field bringing them good news, the Magi traveling from afar to extend their greeting to the newborn king.
As we live this fourth Sunday of Advent, may we celebrate the gift of a momentous greeting that announced good news to Mary and the response that welcomed our Savior into her being.
May we greet Mary, as the angel Gabriel did, as we pray the Hail Mary with a special intention for our own openness to serve the Lord in trust.
May we greet others this day not with a voice that is harried or stressed in this hectic season, but with a voice of gentleness that reveals warmth and joy.
And may we prepare our hearts in anticipation for the most precious greeting of all–the birth of our Savior.
Peace and God's blessings to you on this fourth Sunday of Advent.
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