In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[a] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[b] 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[c] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.-Luke 1:26-38 NRSV
Mary And The Annunciation
In the church today we celebrate the solemnity of the annunciation of the Lord. This is a big day, as it is the day that we celebrate the incarnation. The moment that God became man. Through Mary the Word was incarnated, walked among us, died for our sin, and rose again on the first Easter morning.
The fiat of Mary ushered in a new covenant, forgiveness and mercy. We celebrate this day because it is the beginning of our salvation. Mary said yes to the Lord and the savior of the world came through her.
Doing God’s Will
I think at times we forget the great risk that Mary took by saying yes to the will of God. Mary was betrothed to Joseph. It today’s world we lose the significance of this, but in that time it meant you were legally married and just didn’t live together yet.
For her to be pregnant during this time brought the charge of adultery, and the Levitical penalty was death by stoning. We also lose the fact of age. Perhaps subconsciously we think that Mary was in her twenties, but this is not the case. Most scholars estimate that she was around fourteen years old.
Mary is an example of faith for all of us. She was young and so full of faith. She knew the dangers of saying yes, but still wanted to do the will of God. Through her wanting to do the will of God Jesus came to the world. Our savior came to redeem us all.
We Can Learn From Mary’s Yes
From Mary we see an example to do the will of God. We all have a call in life, and perhaps God is calling us to do something difficult or even scary.
Perhaps you are called to the priesthood, the vocation of marriage, or to take a stand at your job over something immoral. I have no doubt that Mary was scared, but she trusted God. Like Mary we need to trust God and do what he is telling us to do.
Pray. Trust. Do the will of God.
Following her example of obedience to God, we can learn to serve delicately without being slavish. In Mary we don’t find the slightest trace of the attitude of the foolish virgins, who obey, but thoughtlessly. Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants, ponders what she doesn’t fully understand and asks about what she doesn’t know. Then she gives herself completely to doing God’s will: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word. – St. Josemaria Escriva
Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in his plan of salvation. She trusted him in spite of her nothingness because she knew he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her. Once she said “yes” to him, she never doubted. She was just a young woman, but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him. – St. Teresa of Calcutta
When the angel appeared to Mary, God was announcing this love for the new humanity. It was the beginning of a new earth, and Mary became ‘a flesh-girt Paradise to be gardened by the new Adam.’ As in the first garden Eve brought destruction, so in the garden of her womb, Mary would now bring Redemption. – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Interviews About Mary