Reading I: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Reading II: Romans 16:25-27
GOSPEL: Luke 1:26-38
A Game of Truth AND Dare
You remember that old game of Truth or Dare from the days of your youth? Maybe you even still play it. Someone asks you “Truth or Dare?” and you pick either truth or dare (duh!). You then either have to tell the truth about a difficult (and usually very personal) question asked to you, or you have to take on some sort of challenge that frequently can lead to your embarrassment.
So let’s play a round now, okay? I’ll go first: Truth or dare?
You Chose Dare? How adventurous of you!
Since I don’t know you, let’s pretend: You’re a teenage girl – let’s say about 15 years old – and you’ve got an awesome boyfriend, a great family, and a fabulous herd of goats! You’re doing well in school and things just couldn’t get any better for you!
Until… BAM! This angel shows up in your room one night and says to you “Don’t be afraid. By the way, you’re pregnant. Oh – and did I mention it’s God’s?”
Mary deserves some major props for her role in the annunciation story. If I had been in Mary’s place, the narrative would’ve included a sizable tantrum, ending with me telling Gabriel off. So it’s a good thing it wasn’t me. And chances are, my reaction would be pretty common today.
It took a lot of guts for Mary to be able to take God’s dare. By saying yes to God, she allowed her whole life to be turned upside down. It caused embarrassment for her, for Joseph, for her family – but she did it anyway.
Oh wait… you wanted truth? We can do that too.
Mary’s action was not just one of daring. By doing God’s will, she helped to bring about the truth. As in, “The Way, the Truth and the Life.” For us, it’s sometimes hard enough just telling the truth, yet Mary, a 15 year old with every reason in the world to say “no” to God, undertook the task of bearing the truth.
In other words, the truth WAS the dare!
In today’s culture, being a Christian – let alone being a Catholic Christian – isn’t always the “cool” or “acceptable” thing to do. But when we choose to live out a life that reflects the truth of Jesus Christ, we are telling God, “I choose the dare.”
The dare is asking us to walk the talk. It’s up to us, during this last week of Advent, to really share the light of Christ with everyone – in our thoughts, in our words and in our actions.
Mary took on the challenge to bring the Good News into the world. Now we have to carry that on for everyone to see.
Truth or Dare? Yes, please!
My mom used to baby-sit for a little boy named Robert. When she was preparing lunch, she’d ask each of us if we would like peanut butter and jelly or ham. My brother, my sister, her friend would all make our selections and we’d turn to Robert who would always just say, “Yes, please,” when asked which he wanted.
So when God asks you if you want truth or dare, be like Mary and like little Robert and say, “Yes, please.”
How have you allowed God to turn your life upside down? Was it worth it?
Have you ever had an experience in which doing the right thing was difficult or embarrassing?
How do you live out God’s dare for you in your life?
Original article by Jacki Popadich, 2002-2020.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.