(Lk 1, 26-38)
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Let it be done to me according to your word.
Would you like to become the mother of Jesus ?How blessed is the womb that bore Jesus! But wait! 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 ? Difficult questions.
But these all to human questions, difficult as they, are hardly the real questions. The Lord God had made a most difficult proposition to Mary. 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 her 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!
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF