On the fourth week of Advent, our protagonist is Mary.Do you ever wonder why Zechariah was punished when questioning the angel, but Mary, who also questioned, was not? I’m going to suggest that the difference is in their attitude. Zechariah may have been cynical and dismissive. Mary, on the other hand, had an accepting attitude. She had a certain peace about the whole thing that Zechariah did not have.That doesn’t mean that Mary wasn't troubled: the Gospel tells us that she was (Luke 1:29). However, peace is not just an absence of conflict. The Hebrew word, Shalom, has to do with fullness, inner harmony, and wholeness. This is a quality that I think Mary had. It's also a quality that you and I can have. This Advent and every Advent, we are reminded to be a people of Shalom.Being a person of peace doesn’t necessarily mean we have to avoid conflict: sometimes it's necessary. But being a person of peace means that we are always working towards the common good. It means that we strive towards inner wholeness and harmony. It means we are always motivated by Faith, Hope, and Love. Of course, this shalom can only be achieved through the Grace of the One who is the Prince of Peace.Living the Christian life should fill us with peace. I have never understood how one can be a Christian if one is constantly troubled, perpetually agitated, stressed, perturbed, or distracted. Yet all of us know people who are not at peace. Many of us have had moments when we are so bogged down with stress and worry that peace and inner harmony seem entirely unreachable. Some of you are experiencing that lack of peace right now.Advent is not only a time to longingly wait for the Prince of Peace, but it is a time when we are reminded to seek wholeness and completeness; to seek harmony with oneself, with God, with others, and with all Creation. During Advent we are called: To choose Peace every day and allow that Peace to permeate every aspect of our lives, and to bring Peace to those who need it in their lives.It is this inner peace that allowed Mary to say yes. It allowed her to have an attitude of surrender and acceptance.Let us Pray:“I am the servant of the Lord, may it be done unto me according to your word.”Come Light of the world, fill us with Joy to be the Voice that proclaims, and with the Peace to say yes, like Mary did!