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Advent Reflection, Fourth Sunday

 The question often can come up when reflecting on Mary, “what does it mean that she was born without original sin?”. While some deeper theological discussions can occur regarding what this means, I find peace with the simple answer that it represents that Mary always sought to do the will of God. 

 In the Gospel for the Fourth week of Advent, we not only see the courage of Mary’s yes to the will of God, but also the role of the Angel Gabriel in telling her about God’s will.

This passage invites us to also pay attention to the various angels in our own lives that unveil the will of God, and for us to follow Mary’s example and to say yes to the invitation of those angels to do God’s will. 

How do we identify the angels in our life? I like to think that the angels in our lives are anyone who challenges us to be closer to how God calls us to imitate Christ.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle invites us to be these “visible angels” that challenge students to learn, but we can often forget that students take on this role as well when they call on us to grow in patience, love, and humility in order to better serve them. 

It is not enough to only listen to the angels of our lives, but to also have the courage like Mary to say yes. 

When we say yes to serving God it is likely that we will face challenges, struggles, and setbacks. However, the one guarantee is that when we say yes to what God invites us to do, we are given the opportunity to grow closer to who Jesus called us to be, and that journey is life’s greatest adventure.

As we welcome Christ this Christmas, I invite you to prepare with me by seeking out our angels, developing the courage to say yes, and celebrating the opportunity to be part of Christ’s mission. 

Download a PDF of this reflection.

Carter Powers, is a Residential Aspirant with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, living in community and ministering alongside the Brothers as he discerns God’s call in his life. He current lives and ministers in the California Bay Area.