Advent Begins on Sunday, November 30, 2008

In a season during which most people experience anxiety at the approach of the Christmas holiday, most of which, by the way, is the result of the impact materialism and commercialism has had on what should be a very peaceful and joyous occasion, let us turn our hearts and minds to the mercy and love of God as we approach the day on which we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Let us start by contemplating the first of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, The Annunciation, and in particular our Blessed Mother’s obedience and surrender to the will of God.

The Annunciation

A devout Jewish girl living in as obscure town during the military occupation of her country is suddenly confronted by a messenger of God. Her familiarity with Scripture would leave her with little doubt about what is happening because all devout Jews awaited the Messiah. Every Jewish girl was given the hope that this might happen to her. But she was not a wife. How could this be?

In her puzzlement she knows what to do. What had the prophets and the holy women of the Bible done before? They had said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). Puzzled, frightened, confused, she says the most simple and profound thing, “Be it done unto me according to your word” (Luke 1:3:38).

Every real attempt at holiness and friendship with God must begin here. There is no real and honest beginning without an unqualified act of obedience and of surrender.

The above was written by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. and appears in his leaflet entitled, The Rosary: Opening Our Hearts to the Mysteries of Faith, Creative Communications for the Parish, St. Louis, MO, 1995) – you may purchase this booklet and many other works by Fr. Groeschel @ Fr. Groeschel also hosts a series on EWTN called Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Find out more about this television series @

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