While I was in the car the other day, I heard the Beatles’ song “Let It Be.” It made me think of today’s feast. If you are a Boomer like me, you probably remember that the song starts: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking works of wisdom, ‘Let it be.’”
Music historians are clear that Paul McCartney did not write this as a religious song. It is about his deceased mother (Mary) who came to him in a dream while he was dealing with personal turmoil. She advised him not to worry because everything would work out well.
Be that as it may, the song echoes the docility of Mary who acquiesces to the mysterious will of God. Could she foresee all the ramifications of her “yes.” I doubt it. Yet her faith led her to exclaim, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
I don’t know if archangels ever retire, but it would be helpful to us if Gabriel were a little more active. If he or another angel were to tell us “this is God’s will for you”; I would like to think that most of us would respond, “let it be done.” The problem for us is that we are not always able to discern which situations are God-ordained and which situations are, in a favorite phrase of one of our friars, “not of God.” That makes it difficult for us to know whether we should accept or resist.
As we daily pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” let us pray also for the gift of discernment, that, as St. Paul said, we might “discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Then: “Let it be done!”
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