Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38):
‘The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.’
Nothing is impossible with God. Mary, despite being a virgin, found herself to be with child. And not any old child; Mary was pregnant with the ‘Son of the Most High’ as described by the angel Gabriel. The impossible had suddenly become possible. The surreal had become real.
And then the Saviour of the world was born. Jesus, the Lord, came to save us from our sins and to give us the gift of eternal life. Yet none of this would have been possible had Mary not said ‘yes’ to God.
How many of us would say yes to God as Mary did? Are we prepared to put God and others first before ourselves for the greater good, as Mary did? Are we prepared to sacrifice our lives in service to God and to others, as Mary did? Do we have a deep, unconditional love for God as well as a child-like trust which means we are always ready to say ‘yes’ to Him when he calls us to do His work, as Mary did?
Mary is our guiding light. It is Mary who shows us the way to complete faith in God. It is Mary who shows us the type of unconditional love and trust we must have in God. It is Mary who shows us the way to that deep humility in our daily lives; always putting God and others first. It is Mary who shows us how we should live our lives; respecting others and ensuring we are never boastful of our achievements. Mary never boasted that she gave birth to the Son of God. How then can we ever boast about our achievements?
Mary is our light. On this great Solemnity of the Annunciation let us ask Mary to show us the way to Jesus. Let us ask Mary to intercede for us so that we too can have the grace to say ‘yes’ when God is calling us to do His work.