I probably watch too much television, and so I’ve seen a commercial from Discover in which there are clips from multiple shows and movies of people saying “yes.” While “no” may be one of the words children like saying the most, “yes” can be an incredibly powerful, and today’s feast of the Annunciation is a display of how powerful a simple and humble yes can be. The archangel Gabriel approaches many with a laudatory greeting and then announces news of great joy: through the power of the Holy Spirit, she is to bear in her womb the Son of God!
While God had prepared Mary for this from her very first moment, perhaps Mary had not anticipated this. Maybe it wasn’t a part of her plans for life. However, saying yes to the Father was central to her life, and so at a moment like this, when something unexpected occurs, she gives God an unqualified yes. She even amplifies it: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.”
With this unrestricted yes, everything changes. Because Mary cooperates with God's grace, with God's plan, the Son of God enters into the world. God's presence because physically real in our world. While we won't bear the Son of God in the same way Mary did, we are still able to bring Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into the world. Every time we say yes to God and His plan, in a sense Christ is brought into the world. Every time we cooperate with God's grace, in a sense the Son of God is made present in the world. May we imitate Mary's yes to God and imitate how she bore Jesus Christ in her heart.
We should also remember this day as the day in which the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God is not distant. Instead, He has taken on human flesh and human nature; the Son of God has experienced every aspect of human life—apart from sin—and so He knows our suffering in a personal way. In this time of crisis, we are not alone; the Son of God is with us still, so let's turn to Him and His mother all the more fervently and bring them our concerns.
- The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
- And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinner, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
- Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.
- Be it done to me according to thy word.
- And the Word was made flesh.
- And dwelt among us.
- Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
- That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may be His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.