Feast of the Annunciation 22
Mary found favor with God, and she responded when his plan for her life involved something she did not understand. It was beyond comprehension and was not only contrary to the law but was a sin so grave it was punishable by stoning. Yet, she said yes, and we struggle with a simple yes to God. A yes that for us has no punishment attached to it but what we must do is just as improbable and incomprehensible. We fail to see how we can be an example of faith that inspires others by our obedience to God’s will?
God invites us to say yes to his plan for our lives and to take a step into the unknown and beyond our comfort levels. Our faith as currently we live it is predictable and we feel good because we are faithful and follow the dictates of our faith. Mary was in that same place. Her life was following the pattern of all the women of her time. She was to be married and the life of a married woman was predictable and what was expected of her was known.
That was until the angel Gabriel shows up and tells her she is to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and would become pregnant by the action of God not a man. Her confusion was honest and the explanation of what would happen to her could not have cleared up her confusion. Yet she said yes and more than yes submitted to God’s will and placed her trust in God not in her own ability to grasp the meaning of what her submission would mean.
We know because Simeon said her heart would be pierced (Lk.2:34) and we know Mary pondered all the events surrounding Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I can imagine having your heart pierced is an agony of deepest pain and yet she was willing to say yes.
The message of the annunciation goes beyond Mary because the scriptures were given to us so we could grasp the plan of God for our lives. We have been given the same announcement: we are called to bring Christ to the world and to do the will of God as we faithfully follow his will for us. The issue we must face is how are we responding to the plan of God for our lives. Are we listening to the voice of God prompting us to surrender our will to his as we say, “…let it be done to me according to your word?”
Are we willing to put ourselves in a position where we hear the voice of God directing our lives and living according to his plan? Do we even recognize the power of God that can overshadow us and give us the ability to step into the unknown and follow Jesus?
These are the things we should ponder in our hearts.
Mary is an example of how a lack of understanding should not be an obstacle if we desire to do the will of God. Instead of thinking about how we can attain her level of trust in God, we should be inspired by God’s promise to us about how we are, as she was, equipped for the good works God has prepared for us” (Eph. 2:10).