It is 20th December 2018. The readings are from Isaiah 7:10-14; and the Gospel from Luke 1:26-38. It is nearly impossible to discern and decide without the assistance of and surrender through prayer. At times, we are bombarded with the waves of emotional and spiritual decisive moments in our life. Among all the annunciation, we have been reflecting about past few days, the Annunciation to Mary has something so special for our salvation. Even God paused a moment to wait for the decisive fiat from Mary. Mother Mary had it all the qualities and the attitude and the complete trust to allow God to do what God intended to do. It is a humble and spiritual process of discernment in humility and openness to God’s plan and will that Mary be able to exercise. We too are given a contrast figure in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah. God’s message was given to king of Judah namely Ahaz. He wanted to show that he was righteous and holier than God. He refused the offer of God and not willing to accept the proposed plan of God rather he went ahead to receive the assistance from human power Assyrians. We too have the attitude like that of the king at times in discerning the will of God and be docile to the work of the Holy Spirit. We either offer an excuse, or pretending not to bother God and the Church in such moments. We ended up making the wrong decisions without the help of God through some human company and promises. God wished to protect and save the people of Israel by offering God’s protective presence not just in name but in person by the virgin birth. God offers enough and more signs for us to feel the presence and power of God in our lives. Since we are not rooted in our prayer, and we are mostly anchored in human relationships, friendships that nurture us, we do not figure out the sign that God offers to make us freed from the imminent bondage and painful moments ahead in our lives. And the king did not even bother to know and to accept the offer of God. “It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means God-is-with-us.” (Is.7:14). When we are communicating with wrong people in our lives, we do not feel the need of God’s proximity in our lives. Let us be careful in communicating and discerning well to hear the Word of God and to obey it in order to be blessed by God. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Let the Lord enter! God is the king of glory.” (Ps.23:7,10). The Gospel presents with the annunciation of Mary and her response to God. Jesus’ miraculous conception, the virginity of Mary and her openness is so much emphasised. God promises her God’s support for the salvation work She has to fulfil. Even though She was perplexed, we humbly accepted the plan of God. God’s favour and blessing on Mary is expressed by the visit of the Angel with the qualities and the work the child to be born and his name and characteristics. What we need to imbibe from Mary is readiness to serve God even it seems impossible in the eyes of us. Overshadowing does not have any meaning of sexual connections. For God nothing is impossible to suggest that the conception of Elizabeth in her old age was because of the blessings of God on her. God expects from us the kind of unconditional willingness as that of our Mother Mary. Our Mother Mary is the model for our contemporary faith in times of dilemma, and discernment. Even though she became the Mother of God, by her humility and obedience to God, Mary remained the disciple of Jesus in order to promote and place Him above all else in Her life. May the Lord bless us and grant us the courage to respond to God like that our Mother Mary in every walk of our lives. May you have a good day. God bless you.