The leader of the nation is an idiot
In fact, not only is he an idiot: he is an immoral idiot.
How else can one explain the behavior of Ahaz, the King of Judah, in today’s first reading (Isaiah 7:10-14):
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God;
ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
But Ahaz said,
I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
And he said,
Hear ye now, O house of David;
Is it a small thing for you to weary men,
but will ye weary my God also?
God effectively gives him a blank check for a miracle and King Ahaz effectively says, “Doh. Nope, I don’t wanna.”
And then there is the situation of a particular teenager who gets pregnant: she has no known job skills, her small town has no social services (but it does have a murderously judgmental mob), and her fiancé isn’t even the child’s father.
What can be done? The situation seems impossible.
In point of fact, however, the answer to both “impossible situations” was one and the same: as prophesied in the first reading...
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.
...and fulfilled in the teenager from today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38):
...and the virgin’s name was Mary.
You and I may not be national leaders, nor may we be pregnant teenagers, but in different ways we too may have situations in our lives that seem absolutely impossible.
The message of today’s readings and of the Christmas we are about to celebrate is clear:
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
We may not always be able to see it, but “either in the depth or in the height above” God has an answer: a way to solve even the most impossible situations.
We cannot find this answer, however, by closing our minds to God, as Ahaz did.
No matter how impossible our lives may seem, we find the answer by committing ourselves to God’s will, as Mary did.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to thy word.
May these always be the words of our heart to God.
Ecce ancilla Domini.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.