How are we waiting?

Whenever I pray the rosary and meditate upon the first Joyful Mystery, I always wonder how Mary felt at the time when angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced such a life-changing revelation from God. I wonder what her thoughts are as she hears His plans for her. Jewish women were typically betrothed around the age of 13, so Mary was likely a young teenage girl when she was betrothed to Joseph. The Annunciation soon occurred sometime after. At such a young age, she must have been overwhelmed, and surely there must be some anxiety with regard to entering parenthood at such a young age. Was she fearful of what was going to happen next? How was she going to explain all these to her parents and her husband? What if Joseph did not believe her? The logical conclusion he could have arrived at on his own was that she had committed adultery and, in those days, it was a crime punishable by death through stoning. There were so many variables for mitigation and so many risks, yet, Mary said yes! It was not a feeble response that Mary gave, but rather, it was a resounding response as she said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’

Such a magnificent display of complete surrender, complete trust, and complete humility and with that “yes”, she took on the most important mission any woman ever embraced in the history of the world: to become the Mother of God.

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of our Saviour, our precious Lord Jesus Christ. We can liken this as accompanying Mary in her pregnancy journey, how would Mary have prepared for the coming of Jesus? It reminded me of being a first-time parent, and I remembered the eager anticipation of this new precious life on whom you would envision placing all your hopes, dreams, and with whom you would build a future together with. As a parent, you would want to be the best person you could be and to be able to protect and love your child unconditionally. Bearing this in mind, you would then as a parent, begin to make radical changes and sacrifices to your own lifestyle because you cherish this new life and yearn to grow in relationship with your child through the rest of your life.

Like Mary, if we cherish and treasure Jesus, the question that we would need to ask ourselves is, whether we have been preparing our hearts well to receive Jesus. The preparation of the coming of our Saviour should not be seasonal but an on-going journey.


By Rachel Ong