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. (Luke 1:26-28)
Image being a young betrothed girl in the Middle East, praying alone in your room and having an angel tell you that you are going to have a child that was not your husband’s. Most of our responses would have been a resounding, “no!” We would have clearly understood the risks of being alone and pregnant at the time.
The possibility of being stoned to death for adultry was a great risk. Rejection by her orthodox Jewish community was almost an inevitability. She would have wondered if her husband, a man of great honor, would accept her in his home?
All of these thoughts must have run through her pure and holy mind in a matter of seconds. And yet, without fear or reservation, Mary accepted this eternal role as Mother God. Her willingness to risk everything and become one with Christ was the ultimate act of humility, trust and love.
A life of prayer and holiness must have prepared Mary to give herself to Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this perfected act of love. With a simple “yes” Mary became our guide to unity with her Son.
Three basic lessons emerge for us from our Mother, Mary.
- Pray without ceasing.
- Give our will in totality to Christ.
- Love without reservation.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
God, grant us the grace to see and follow the Divine will of Your Son. JMJ, pray for us!
God is good!