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March 25, Appiah SJ - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

The God Of Surprises


March 25, 2017 

Is 7: 10-14; 8: 10/ Ps 40: 7-8a. 8b-9. 10. 11/ Heb 10: 4-10/ Lk 1: 26-38

By *Mr. Adomako Appiah, SJ

On this day of the Annunciation of the Lord, Christians mark the dawn of a new birth which proclaims the greatness, mercy and love of God. In the Gospel, Mary is said have found favour with God and, she is full of grace. Hence, whatever Mary will be to the human race is a gift from God. This gift is fully actualised when Mary submitted her free will and choice to the redeeming grace of God out of great trust and faith in God, who made all things and sustains them. Those very words of Mary "... let it be done unto me according to your word" demonstrates a deep faith and trust in God. Today, humanity talks about complete salvation because of Mary's self-denial and placing of her will in the hands of God, even when things were not clear to her.

The submission of one's will to the will of God is very instrumental to the salvation and growth of humanity. This is strongly highlighted in the letter to the Hebrews and the Psalmist's prayer in the readings of today. Although God is almighty, he does not force his gifts and will on humans, rather He lovingly and gently invites us to them. Thus, out of my own will I choose my end ─ to love and be with God or to follow my inclinations and desires whether they are in conformity with God's word or not. Therefore, God desires our collaboration to actualise His plans for us (i.e., to be in harmony with one another and be with Him hereafter). It becomes imperative to convincingly and trustfully say to God at all times, "God, I am your child, may your will be done!"

We are humans, and, therefore, we lean so much on what is reasonably possible, but the divine element which aids us to transcend ourselves towards God must be enhanced, so that we can grow in faith and trust in God. Thus, we can transcend reason where necessary by faith. Faith and trust in the Lord are very essential to our pilgrimage; without them we will not live in eternity with God, which is a promise of the Father to us. Hence, to live in faith is to live in eternity, for it is only through faith that we can attain ultimate fulfillment ─ eternal blessedness.

In our daily lives, we are faced with challenging and obscure situations which sometimes throw us into despair. Many of our practical daily experiences are so obscure and discouraging to the point of giving up and even forgetting that we are Christians! But the truth is that such experiences are recurring, and if we give in to hopelessness, we may not find meaning and joy in life. Consequently, in moments like these, we need to call to mind that we are people of faith and trust in the only God, and commit ourselves and such events to God in prayer and God will surprise us with exceeding joy even in our darkest moments as Mary expressed in her Magnificat. Our acknowledgement of who we are is always deepened in continuous prayer and charity towards one another, especially the needy. So we pray through the intercession of Mary that in this Lenten season, the confusing and challenging situations we find ourselves in will draw us closer to God, through continuous prayer, charity and abstinence.

*Mr. Adomako Appiah, SJ, is a scholastic studying theology at L'Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  

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