Today we celebrate the feast of Annunciation to the Theotokos. On this day we remember the visit of the Angel Gabriel to a young girl named Mary. The Angel asked Mary to be the Mother of God, and as we know Mary said yes. It is this yes that I would like to focus on in this article.
Sometimes I ponder the question of this yes and I ask myself and others how many doors the Angel had to knock on before he found a young girl that would say yes. Tradition and Holy Scripture do not tell us any of this information but I feel confident in my ability to say that he only knocked on one door that was the door of Mary.
Here is this girl of about 14 or 15 years old. Engaged to Joseph to be married and the Angel comes and asks her to do this wondrous thing. She immediately answers yes and does not for a second consider the ramifications of this yes.
We read this story in the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Angel Gabriel comes to the city of Galilee to the home of Mary a virgin betrothed to Joseph of the house of David. Luke sets up for the reader the fact that Joseph was of Royal lineage so there will be no question latter on of the line of Jesus. The Angel refers to Mary as the “Highly Favored One” the Angel greets her this way because it is her destiny to become the mother of the Christ. Before she even answers the Angel knew the answer to the question he was about to ask her. She would become the most blessed woman of all time with her simple yes.
The Angel tells her not to be afraid because she has found favor with God. He tells her that she will conceive and bring forth a Son and will call his name Jesus. We have all heard this story before. This child will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. For her part Mary asks a very simple question. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (1:34) The Angel tells her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and adds the phrase, “For with God nothing is impossible.” (1:37) What a great phrase.
This is the crux of the story right here with those words of the Angel. This is the basis of the entire Christian life! Nothing is impossible with God. God sent the Angel to the Virgin Mary to tell her what was about to happen. He knew that she would consent, and as we see at the end of the verse she does just that. God prepared her for the task that she was about to consent too and he will do the same for us, if we are open to his call in our lives.
Are we open to what God is asking of us? Are we open to be used as vessels as Mary was? I am not asking are we willing to become to mother of God no that job has already been taken, but God calls us to do things each and everyday. We are called to bring the light into the world and to bring that light to those who are lost. We are that beacon of hope in a hopeless world. We are the lighthouse on the shore to guide others to salvation. This is a big task but one that God will prepare us for. God will never ask us to do something that He will not prepare us for.
Mary’s response to the Angel is the response that each of us must be willing to give when asked by the Almighty to undertake a task. “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (1:38)
“Let is be to me according to your word” Your word not my word. No what ifs so but wait I have a condition. No conditions to the yes just a simple yes and God will take care of the rest.
Many years ago I heard a saying that has stuck with me all of these years. “Let go and Let God.” Simple yes. Just yes. If we just get out of the way God will take over and all will be well. Mary answered yes without knowing all of the details, she trusted and she said yes. She moved out of the way and let God take over. That is what we are being asked to do through this feast today.