“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Lk 1:38
Take a moment to close your eyes and ponder these things. How would you respond if the angel Gabriel came and visited you? Where would you imagine this encounter to happen? What would he sound like and how would he look? When Gabriel first speaks, what would be going through your head at that moment?
I do consider these type of encounters all the time. The thought of them terrifies me. In the Bible, God never calls people to Caribbean vacations. They are always going out to some place of risk to accomplish things beyond human understanding. I know I would follow, so I fear the encounter.
Mary, though, is not terrified when Gabriel appears to her. Instead, she is perplexed by the greeting. What does it mean to be “the favored one?” Probably the more pressing question running through her mind is, why me?
Asking this question is a natural reaction for any person chosen, whether it is biblical or not. This past weekend, I conducted an interview for an upcoming podcast. When the interview was over, my guest asked, why me? I told her the reasons, all the gifts she naturally possessed for this type of thing and she thanked me. However, I could tell part of her didn’t naturally recognize those gifts. Maybe this is going through Mary’s mind as well. What do I have to offer that makes me favored?
The truth is Mary has done nothing to be called favored. Gabriel didn’t wait for her answer before he granted her this title. It was his opening greeting. Mary is favored because she is a child of God. Her soul does not magnify the Lord because she was selected to be the mother of God. Her soul magnifies the Lord because she simply embraced being favored.
You are favored as well. Embrace the title, look for what special purpose God might be calling you to do and your soul magnify the Lord.
Click to read: Luke 1: 26-38
Reflection Questions: How would you respond if an angel appeared and called you favored? What abilities do others see that you do not? How can you embrace being favored and help others to embrace as well? How can embracing this title cause your soul to magnify the Lord?
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