Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) the Annunciation to Mary begins our immediate preparation for the coming of Jesus among us. There was fear at the surprising call, leading to a question of how this can happen. Then there was a sign in that Elizabeth is expecting a child before Mary said ‘yes.’ She did not say “ok, I will do it”, but “let it be with me according to your word.” It was ‘yes’ to a way of life, a ‘yes’ to the Word of God, leaving the initiative with God.
Surprising calls can evoke fears and questioning, leading to a desire for a sign before saying yes. Have I been through that experience? In my prayer I ask for Mary’s freedom and openness to God’s surprising ways? Could my fears get in the way of a generous response to God?
Our Lady’s role in the history of salvation is unique. The same is true, however, for each one of us in a smaller scale. The Lord is with each of us, and we have found favor with God and he has a mission for us to fulfil.
Mary is the supreme example of obedience to the will of God. The primary meaning of each day of our lives is to say with her, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."
For Mary the angel’s message is a blessing; but very much a blessing in disguise. It is placing her in a very difficult position, socially, culturally, religiously, personally. She has to trust this interior movement in her heart and ‘go with it’. And she does.
In our lives too there are turning points where we may experience an invitation to embrace something difficult rather than discard it. Something which wrecks our dream for ourselves or for our loved ones. There’s a need to discern the spirits.
This scene is an image of what true prayer is about. God comes to visit me through a messenger – a line from scripture, an event, a memory. I entertain God! God takes the initiative, and greets me, surprisingly as ‘the favored one’. What does it feel like to be God’s favorite?
God has something in mind for me to do; like Mary I am to bear good news to others, and the Holy Spirit will help me. God waits for my response. If I say ‘Yes!’ the work of God in our world will be brought forward. Like her I dare to say, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ It is all so simple and yet so awesome.
Like Mary, I too came into the world for a purpose. That purpose will not be revealed to me as dramatically as it was to her. Perhaps she heard the word of God so clearly because she was comfortable with silence.
Too often I fear the emptiness, the darkness, the silence within me. Yet it is there that the Spirit lives and works, even when my prayer seems most arid. God, help me to go daily into the quiet of my own heart, to meet you there, in love and adoration.