Psalms: 50, 59, 60
Old Testament: Zech 4:1-14
New Testament: Rev 4:9-5:5
Gospel: Matt 3:1-12
Reading from the Magisterium of the Church: An excerpt from The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who work evil;
from the bloodthirsty save me.

Even now they lie in wait for my life;
the mighty stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. (Psalm 59:1-4)

All of this week, I’ve been in a particulary reflective mood; in part from contemplating the picture above. This image of Mary shocked over the results of a pregnancy test has been put up on a billboard in New Zealand and portrays the Theotokos in a very human light.

As I read Psalm 59 tonight, I imagine that some of the feelings described would definitely popped through Mary’s mind…especially in those first few months.

Sometimes we forget the true scandal of the Incarnation…and the fact that Mary likely would have been stoned if Joseph had truly desired it.

I can imagine Mary’s horror and uncertainty of her own future when she realized that God had indeed kept his promise and she was carrying a child.

Sure we get the story of the Annunciation in Luke…but saying “yes” to something is very different from being faced with the reality of social rejection, gossip, and religious alienation.

Unfortunately, the stigma attached to unwed mothers has not completely disappeared from our culture….and millions of women throughout the world must deal with unfair labels, insults, and degradation.

Yes…we get Mary’s song in which she proclaims that her soul magnifies the Lord….but that’s not until six months after the whole ordeal begins….when she is comfortable with her mission to the world, and her vocation to be a blessed and loving mother.

For tonight….we wrestle with the doubt and the worry……tonight we are made distinctly uncomfortable. :S +