By Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.
Three men were pacing nervously outside the delivery room at a hospital when the head nurse cam out beaming. To the first she said, “Congratulations, sir, you are the father of twins.”
“Terrific!” said the man, “I just signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins and this’ll be great press.”
To the second man the nurse said, “Congratulations to you too. You are the father of healthy triplets!”
“Fantastic!” he said. “I’m the vice-president of 3-M Company. This’ll be great P.R.!”
At that point the third man turned ashen and ran for the door. “What’s wrong, sir? Where are you going?” called the nurse.
As he jumped into his car, the man shouted, “I’m dashing to my office to resign. I’m the president of 7-UP!”
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Run for the hills! This can’t be!
That’s exactly what Mary was feeling as she listened to the angel spell out what God wanted of her: “Virgin birth?! Are you crazy? Who’s going to believe that? I’ll be stoned to death as soon as the neighbors see I’m pregnant! Dear God, what are you asking of me?”
We know the feeling: “Dear God, what are you asking of me? How can I make a life out of this pile of junk you’ve given me? How am I going to survive till the end of the year — till the end of the week? How am I ever going to make a silk purse, when I don’t even have a sow’s ear? It’s impossible, absolutely impossible!”
We’ve felt that and said that often enough. But it isn’t true, as Mary showed us: Her whole being was so profoundly open to the Spirit that God filled her entirely with His own life and Jesus our Savior was conceived in her womb — the impossible happened.
So it can be with us who are daunted by life’s “impossibilities.” The key, as Mary learned, is not trying to do it all by ourselves: Working alone is a recipe for failure. The key to doing the impossible is learning how to let God in and let God lead; learning how to listen to Him and to see the world through his eyes; learning with His help to re-imagine our lives and to sing the words of a new song; learning from Him how to grow our minds and our hearts very large.
With God as our mentor and guide, our wisdom, our courage and our strength, with God as our partner, nothing is impossible. What a tragedy it would be to languish forever in a world of small hearts and tiny visions, a world of impossibilities. The choice is ours! And God is listening for our “Yes,” just as He listened for Mary’s. He is ready a waiting to fill us very, very full!