You may remember the humorist Sam Levinson. Sam tells the story of the birth of his first child. The first night home the baby would not stop crying.
His wife frantically flipped through Dr. Spock’s advice book for young mothers to see what to do about it. Since the book was long, the baby kept on crying and crying.
Grandma was in the house, but since she had not read the book by Dr. Spock on child-rearing, she was not consulted. The baby continued to cry until grandma could stand it no longer. She shouted downstairs: “For heaven’s sake, put down the book and pick up the baby!”
In today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38), the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary and asks if she would like to be the Mother of the Savior. Would Mary put her own life on hold and pick up the baby? And not just any baby, but God’s own Son, the Savior of the world.
All of creation was holding its breath. If Mary said FIAT, YES, then the Savior would be born and God could reveal himself as one of us. God could come and make a home in our midst.
Mary said, “May it be done to me according to your Word.” In effect, what Mary was saying was, “Jesus, come and live in me!”
This is not just Mary’s prayer, but ours as well. The Christ who spent 9 months inside of Mary promised to abide in each one of us as well. You and I too can pray, “Jesus, come and live in me!” St. Paul says, “I live no longer as I live, but Christ lives in me.”
A few years ago I was interviewing a 2nd Grade girl who would be making her 1st Holy Communion. I asked her, “Why do you want to make your 1st Holy Communion?” Without hesitation, she said to me almost matter-of-factly, “So I will have Jesus living inside of me!”
Once we give our lives over to Jesus and his living inside of us, we can face anything that life throws at us. We all make resolutions to improve our tempers, get organized, exercise, or lose weight, but we so often fail. When we admit to our own weakness and turn to the Lord and pray: “Jesus, come and live in me!”, watch the improvement.
You and I worry about what the future holds. But when we pray, “Jesus, come and live in me!”, we can relax about what the future holds for us – because WE KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE!
What we are being asked to do this Thursday of Advent as we celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception is to put down the book, the remote control, the smart phone, the mouse and the bottle and to PICK UP THE BABY!
Give YOUR smart phone a rest for a little while today and PICK UP BABY JESUS.
ALL I KNOW IS THAT NO MATTER WHAT I’M FEELING, GOD IS WORKING!!