Bringing Jesus to those we encounter

    December 20, 2023
    Advent reflection day 18 graphic. Watercolor brush strokes of Christmas tree branches in white and pale green.

    On this third Wednesday of Advent, God invites us to slow down and take the time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.

    Today’s gospel presents the ultimate example of discipleship, Mary. In what can be seen as a frightening moment, she took the time to reflect, remain open to God, and allow His plan to come to life. Luke’s gospel shares Mary’s humanness, as she was troubled and asked questions when the angel appeared and proclaimed the Word to her. She was perplexed and yet willing to trust God anyway. Her “yes” is a beautiful example of surrender, even when her understanding of what was being asked was limited. She committed to lifelong discipleship and personal stewardship to Christ’s mission, regardless of the cost.

    How often do we feel perplexed, afraid, or confused when God invites us to a new and unknown path? Do we take the opportunity to slow down, reflect, and surrender like Mary? How can we imitate Mary’s example of faithful, lifelong discipleship? In what ways does her life speak to the social outreach mission of the Church? Do we model her example as Christ-bearer, and bring Jesus to those we encounter? How are we healing and elevating the dignity of others?

    As we continue the Church’s social ministry, Mary’s commitment to Christ’s mission serves as witness to a life of holiness amid challenges. As the season of Advent continues, may we find time to reflect on our own call to holiness. In our encounters with those seeking shelter, food, legal assistance, counseling, or medical attention, may we seek to extend the love of God, just as Mary did when she committed to be the Christ-bearer.

    Jeanne Adamske, MAPS, MBA, is the Chief of Staff at Catholic Charities St. Louis. She has served in Church ministry for over fifteen years and continues to carry out Christ’s mission in the world, sharing His compassion, love, and care through ministry work in the world.

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