God’s Advent Calling is About Letting Go!
Letting go is not an easy task to perform, especially if our need to control is a large part of what is happening around us. Thank God this was not a problem for Mary, Joseph, and John the Baptist. When the angel told Mary that she was to be the Mother of God, she did not suddenly stand up and say, “But I can’t! I’m already betrothed to my husband to be, Joseph the Carpenter.”
And when Joseph was told that Mary was pregnant, he didn’t walk away sulking. He heard the Angel’s explanation for the pregnancy in his dream, and then did what the Angel suggested: “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
Joseph heard the Angel’s words and “took Mary as his wife.” He had no more questions. Mary and Joseph let go and because of their faith and trust, Jesus was born as our savior.
Later, John the Baptist, a great Advent figure, faced his letting go moment when Jesus arrived on the scene where he was baptizing to be baptized by John. He didn’t take Jesus aside and give Him a few hints on how to be the long-awaited Messiah. John refrained from offering a few words of advice, such as: “Jesus to be effective, only preach standing up.” Or “I find these certain phrases to be more effective on this crowd.” Not at all, John the Baptist quickly let go of any need to control.
Instead John put his faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah. Then John told his followers to do the same, saying, “But one who is more powerful than I is coming after me, I am not worthy to carry his sandals.”
John too, let go, put his faith in Jesus, and trusted. Each one taught us a wonderful Advent lesson to learn and practice in our own lives. Letting go of our need to control someone or something in order to live with faith and trust, opens us to enjoy the same freedom that Mary, Joseph, and John the Baptist possessed!
St. Francis de Sales agrees saying:
“When our earthly possessions don't cling to our hearts we take good care of them, but we don't lose reason or peace of mind if they are taken from us.”
This Advent, O Come, O Come Emmanuel!