December 28, 2023 at Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, FL
Genesis 3: 9-15, 20 + Psalm 98, + Ephesians 1: 30-6, 11-12 + Luke 1: 26-38
“In the Beginning” starts the Book of Genesis from which that first reading is taken. In the beginning we were all created free is the point of the story; free to care for creation and one another and free to live with the constant present company of God. This is not about Adam and Eve as though they were not you and me. Their story is our story. With that freedom a choice gets made again and again. It is the choice of sin. The choice of putting ourselves before our God and Creator.
“In the Beginning” says the meaning of this Feast, Mary too was free. Conceived without sin means that she never chose to put herself before her God and Creator. So, not putting herself first, setting aside her own plans and future, she accepts what at first seems impossible and even frightening. She simply turns to the task at hand. She accepts what she does not understand or really desire. Because she knows the goodness of God, the trusts in the plans God has for her and not in the fear she feels about what is to come.
What happens to her is not just her experience. We may not have angels talking to us, but we have all had those moments or received some news that makes us wonder or cry out: “How is this happening to me?” “I can’t do this.” Now, if you have had an angel talking to you, I don’t want to hear about it because none of the rest of have. We have all had our plans, our hopes, our dreams get changed by something we never expected or wanted. When trust in God’s plans for us takes hold, the fear will be gone. Accepting whatever is asked of us opens the future to a life that is really free and back in the hands of the Creator who will look upon us, smile, and say: “This is good.”