Friday of the Third Week of Advent
“Then the angel departed from her.”
Imagine all the questions and fears that arose in Mary’s mind in this moment. The angel departed, and the questions and fears remained. The road ahead was dark and uncertain, but Mary had a mission and she placed her trust in God.
I imagine that St. Teresa of Calcutta would often turn to this Gospel passage for hope in the midst of her own darkness. In 1946, on a train ride to her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received the “call within a call” that would change her life forever. Jesus shared His thirst for souls with Mother Teresa and gave her a mission: to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. She took this mission to heart and founded the Missionaries of Charity, serving the poor and neglected of Calcutta for the rest of her life. Several years after her death in 1997, it was revealed that Mother Teresa endured a great spiritual darkness for the last fifty years of her life. It seems that this darkness began shortly after her encounter with Jesus on that train. Like Mary, St. Teresa experienced a life-changing encounter with the Divine, received her mission, and was left to trust in God’s providence.
When it comes to living out the mission that Jesus has given us, the road in front of us can be dark, daunting, and obscure. But even amid the darkness, we must trust like Mary and St. Teresa that God is with us and that He will provide what we need for the journey. For those who remain faithful, the darkness will not prevail. As Christmas approaches, let us hope for and longingly await that day when “night shall be no more” (Rv. 22:5) and the Light of Christ comes into the world.
Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity
O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!