Gospel: Lk 1:26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!“ Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.
But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son; and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever; and his reign shall have no end.“
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?“ And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative, Elizabeth, is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.“
Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.“ And the angel left her.
Let it be done to me according to your word
Let us transport ourselves to the time of the Annunciation. Mary was betrothed to Joseph. They were not yet living together. Mary is asked to conceive a child in her womb by “The Holy Spirit.“ When Joseph would see her already pregnant before their marriage how would she explain her pregnancy? How would Joseph react? Would Joseph conclude she had been unfaithful? Would Joseph accept her explanation that the Holy Spirit is the one responsible for her pregnancy? Difficult questions.
But these all too human questions, difficult as they, are hardly the real questions. The Lord God had made a most difficult proposition to Mary. She probably didn’t know all the implications of her “be it done to me according to your word.“ Only later on, much later on, will she understand the full meaning of “Yes“ to the Father’s request. Little did she know that by her Fiat she had set in motion the reason for the Incarnation, that her Son would become the sacrificial lamb on Calvary. Little did she know that by her “Yes“ she was cooperating with the redemption of the world but at the cost of own soul being pierced with that of her Son.
As we honor Mary today we must ask her to teach us her faith in God. When I said my “yes“ to become a priest, little did I know the many trials and difficulties I would encounter in my journey. But like Mary I have to continually say “yes“ to God’s will. Like Mary, we are all part of God’s marvelous plan of redemption. It is good to cooperate with God in his work of redemption. We all can become like Mary, the mother of our Savior, as we say “yes“ to the little sufferings we have to bear for our faith!