Every Advent I return to Mary the mother of Jesus.
I read the annunciation in Luke 1:26-38 and I reflect on artistic ways people have interpreted her role in the Christian story. I read poetry (I suggest Denise Levertov's The Annunciation) and I wonder about this woman and her spirituality.
When Gabriel first shows up he offers her a greeting and then the text says she was perplexed (who wouldn't be perplexed!). Then the angel says, "Fear not, Mary!" The divine call to "fear not" happens many times throughout Scripture. When something is about to change, God often reminds us "fear not!"
I think it's normal to be afraid, or perplexed, when something new is about to happen. We may wonder about our security and recognize our lack of control over a situation. The words "fear not" are not only true for Mary, but they are true for us today.
Whether you find yourself in a changing family structure, or questions of job stability arise, or you are experiencing declining health…fear not. Let Mary's courage grant you courage and ease your anxious heart for God is with you, fear not.
(From the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth)