the college panic
What should I do with my life?! Not even that, what about this summer? Should I do an internship? Job? Work at a summer camp? Should I be investing in my friendships? Family? Career? Young adults are often pulled every direction in their college years. You're told they're the most formative years of your life, and with that title comes pressure. Pressure to make sure you are investing in the right thing at every moment. How can you decide?
These were the questions that were tearing me apart in prayer as I went to the Annunciation Festival mass out on the lawn. For those who aren't familiar with it, the Solemnity of the Annunciation refers to the celebration of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and her "yes" when the angel Gabriel tells her that she will bear Christ, the Savior, into the world.
Take a second. Imagine your reaction. 1) there's an angel involved. 2) even more than that, the angel addresses you "HAIL FULL OF GRACE!" What?! 3) then he informs you that you are going to bear a child. Okay, not too craz-- the Son of God? If you're a young women this is easier to imagine, but in any case... I think we can confidently say your, and my, mind would be blown.
let it be done.
Yet, according to the Gospel of Luke, Mary just replied with her fiat, Latin for "let it be done." She passively receives her calling, in faith that if it is what she is called to, no matter how many questions, no matter how uncomfortable the situation, no matter the judgement or shame, grace or trial, she trusts that God will equip her to fulfill her calling.
So here I am, kneeling outside in the grass at Annunciation Festival, hearing the priest's homily. He praises Mary for her "blind obedience." Not ignorant obedience, but blind in the sense of fully trusting. He lists ten virtues of Mary, but the one that sticks out to me the most is her obedience. She does not act impulsively, but instead she addresses the immediate question and trusts for the future.
As the child Jesus grows up, Mary does not fret or worry, instead she ponders each question and thought in her heart. She reflects in obedience and patience, no matter how uncomfortable or scared she is.
That is when this phrase came to mind
not comfortable, but called
Maybe I am not 100% comfortable with what I am feeling called to this summer. But if I am making excuses to go, trying to make it work, telling others why I want to do it, and praying constantly about it, I have to have faith that God is leading me where he wants me. Not only that, but if what is holding me back is discomfort. fear. worry. or anything along those lines, then press onward! God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called. He would not have called Mary to her vocation as the mother of God if he had not prepared her beforehand to serve in that way.
"I have chosen you. Never be tired of repeating that sentence. We have been chosen for a purpose: to quench the third of Jesus for souls" - Mother Teresa (Instructions, 1976)
You may not be 100% comfortable with what you are called to. But TRUST. Offer up a prayer to Our Lady to intercede for you and stand by you so that you can confidently and contentedly say YES. Let it be done to me according to your words.