Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Cooperators With Grace

"Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word'" (Luke 1:38).

Like Mary, we have a part to plan in God's divine plan for the world. 

Seriously. God wants to cooperate with us to bring about His kingdom here on earth and help to populate His kingdom in heaven. 

Part of His plan for our salvation was to enter the world as we all do: born as a baby. Fragile Utterly dependent. Weak. Small. Human. Birthed by a mother. 

Even before Jesus was conceived (which just a Catholic PSA, happens after the Annunciation; the Immaculate Conception is when Mary was conceived), God's salvific plan depended upon the cooperation of humans. Mary said yes. God wants us to say yes, too.  

St. Jospeh plays a role, albeit a supporting one, in this initial cooperation, too. Jesus was brought into this world by His mother, Mary, and Joseph agreed to serve as Jesus's earthly father. He decided to do what the angel had commanded him to do: 

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:20-23)

Joseph, like Mary and all of us, had a choice. And, he chose to cooperate. May we choose to cooperate as well. 

Throughout the first week of Advent, we heard many stories about Jesus inviting others into this cooperation with divine grace. From the call of the first apostles, to teaching the disciples in private, to the feeding of the 5,000, to sending the disciples out in pairs, Jesus invites others into His mission. In many ways, even though it doesn't have to be, His mission is dependent upon our cooperation. 

The second week continues this theme of enlisting cooperators with divine grace. On Sunday, we heard about the preparatory role played by St. John the Baptist, and yesterday we listened to the powerful story of a group of people finding a way to bring a friend to Jesus - ultimately lowering him through the roof with the hope that Jesus might heal him. The friend would not have been able to come to Jesus on his own.  He needed these conspirators with grace to move him, so that grace could move within him. 

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No person is an island. We were not meant to be alone. We need each other and we are better together. 

The entire plan for salvation is founded upon this idea. 

God wants you to be a cooperator with His divine grace. 

Say yes.