When we say, “Thy will be done,” do we really mean it? Do we recognize how dangerous that is to our daily routine and lives? Do we see that we are asking for the disruption and then fight against it as we insist upon our will the rest of the week? God’s Will, is our key to joy and happiness, and our path to holiness. There is no more futile effort than to fight against God, and no reason to do so.
God knows what is best for us, and for all of creation. This week, we learn that from Mary’s acceptance that God’s Will be done in her life, for the benefit of all of mankind. Was she the first to say, “Thy Will be done”?
The activity may be something you do already, with a slight twist.
And there is an infographic of the Our Father!
God’s Will Be Done
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God’s Will and Mine
REFLECTION – God’s Will Be Done
The readings this week speak to us of God’s will and those who follow it. The prophet Micah heralds the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem 800 years before Christ. He speaks of a savior to come from that small, unknown, backward region of Judah (yet, the same place from which King David came! 1 Samuel 17:12). He tells of one who will come and do the Will of God and, by that Will, save the Chosen People, bringing peace. (Oh, peace, one of the most elusive of God’s promises because of our sin!) The second reading from Hebrews explains how Jesus’ sacrifice was, once and for all, the only way to fulfill the Old Covenant and bring about the New. His obedience to the Will of the Father made it possible for us to be members of God’s family once again; lost through the sin of Adam and Eve, and restored in the sacrifice of Jesus.
The Gospel is the familiar story of Mary visiting Elizabeth. Those famous words “Blessed are you among women!” and “The babe in my womb leaped for joy at the sound of your voice.” Elizabeth makes us intimately aware of Mary’s holiness and the spectacular event of the Incarnation through Mary’s cooperation with God’s Will. Mary is “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45) Her faith in the Lord is a model for us as we all struggle to know and do God’s Will.
When God created Man, He created him in His image. (Genesis 1:27) That does not mean we look like God. It means that we were given an Intellect and a Will and can Love. We among all the creatures of earth are made in His image because we can think for ourselves, we have creativity, and we can make choices based on that intellect and creativity. That ability to make a choice is our will. Doing the Will of God is an act of Love.
Sin is when we fall outside God’s Will; when we decide our will is better or more important than His Perfect Will. We turn away from Him. We are reconciled to Him and His Will, when we are sorry, apologize to Him, ask for forgiveness and receive His mercy and grace. This most particularly happens in the Sacrament of Confession, and when we receive Holy Communion (our venial sins are forgiven when we receive the Eucharist). It also happens when we pray to Him daily.
The most challenging part of being a Christian is FOLLOWING JESUS and being in GOD’S WILL. Jesus shows us how to do it with His obedience to the Father even unto His own death. Mary shows us how to do it with her “yes” to God at the Annunciation (truly embracing “Thy will be done!”), and her continued obedience as she and St. Joseph raised Jesus. St. Joseph show us how to follow God’s Will (see the First Week of Advent Mass Warm-Up). And many, many saints before us and holy people around us now show us how to follow and be in God’s Will.
DISCUSSION – God’s Will, or My Will?
Talk with family and friends this week about God’s Will. How have you seen God’s Will work for you in your life? When have you cooperated with His Will? When have you not? How can we work with God and His Will for us? Do we mean it when we say, “Thy will be done”?
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we petition God that “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” What does that mean? How does that prayer change the way we live? Does it change our lives?
[Note: We capitalize “Will” in this lesson when referring to God’s Will in comparison it to ours or distinguishing it from the verb “will.”]
ACTIVITY – Thy Will Be Done
This week when you pray the Lord’s Prayer, pray for God’s Will to be done for a particular thing in your life. Be specific. There may be something you’ve been struggling with for a while or a situation that you have no control over, but are worrying about. Tell God you truly want His Will to be done. Place all your needs and desires into His hands. Place them in the manger for Jesus to bring to the Father.
You can do this literally by making a manger for Jesus and writing your petitions on small slips of paper to make a bed for the baby Jesus. Then on Christmas morning place a baby doll in the manger, and throughout the Christmas season, contemplate Jesus bringing your needs before the Father in Heaven:
“Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?” Romans 8:34
Pray with the Psalmist:
I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)
Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God! Let thy good spirit lead me on a level path! (Psalm 143:10)
Remember we are not praying for God to change His Will to what we want, but for us to know what He wants and understand that what He is doing is better for us than any plan we would have Him do. Our prayer is to recognize and be in whatever “Thy will be done.”
LEARN MORE – Other God’s Will Be Done! resources from Holy Owned and Operated:
Links open in a new tab or window according to your settings so that you can compare and continue in this lesson’s theme.
Page: Advent Resources
Page: Prayer Basics
Infographic: Our Father Prayer
Podcast: The Incarnation – Episode 72
Podcast: The Lord’s Prayer – Episode 45
Podcast: How to Be a Disciple – Episode 42
TWMWU:Fourth Week of Advent – Promises Fulfilled
TWMWU: Be Doers of the Word
TWMWU: Saint Joseph
TWMWU: Prepare The Way Of The Lord
TWMWU: Glorify The Lord by Your Life
Article: The Meanings Behind Our Advent Traditions
How do you (or your family) allow God’s Will to Be Done in your lives?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
One of the seven social teachings of the Catholic Church, caring for our earthly home is intimately connected to every part of our life.
After quoting an 80s video game and Monty Python, Beth and Kristofer dive into this topic with Kristofer making sure everyone knows he is not a tree hugger.
Then they go on identifying birds and trees as they walk by. Well, the topic is what the topic is – and they do answer the question we all have about that environment issue.
Yeah, that one.