Fr. Kurian KollapallilAngel Gabriel said to Mary “Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus (Luke 1:31) .In a flash, she recognizes the new challenges that will emerge in her betrothal and the crisis into which this pregnancy could throw both families, and she said to the angel” But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?” Then the angel spoke to her about the overshadowing of the Spirit, and said “Nothing is impossible for God” (Luke 1:38).Mary believed and said “Yes.”

God doesn’t look into our skills, and intellectual capabilities. God doesn’t need much planning and training; instead God works surprises every time in many forms and guises. Some are amazing; some are just ordinary, sometime these surprises occur through the tragedies, suffering, sicknesses and awful experiences. But surprises are woven through the very fabric of all our lives. They await each one of us at unexpected and unpredictable junctures. Ninety year old Sarah when she heard that she would have a child, she laughed in doubt, when Zachariah was informed by the angel about Elizabeth his wife bearing a son he asked “how can I know this?” Like Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth and Zechariah, we have in the gospels many surprises Jesus brought to the people. It’s a challenge for us to overcome our doubts and suspicions and to enter in to the world of surprises. This is truly Gospel, Good News, for those of us who find ourselves in impossible situations.

This advent season, we are called to reflect upon God’s plan in our lives. God teaches us through various incidents and events about God and about ourselves. Through our failures and success, brokenness and dilemmas, pain and suffering, joy and pain, loss and gain, there emerges the life of Christ in us. Angel surprised Mary, with a special greeting “Hail full of grace” but that was only the beginning. She had to face Joseph who decided to abandon her in secret. She had to live away from her husband with her cousin Elizabeth. Both Mary and Joseph had to save their child by running away from Jerusalem and living in exile. A series of joys and sorrows passes all through Mary’s life. Surprises await each one of us at various junctures. We can fight and resist God’s ways like Jacob or like Mary we can consent to God’s plan in everything.

“Great occasions for serving God came seldom but little ones surround us daily “St. Francis de Sales.