Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The mass readings for today contains the familiar Gospel reading (Luke 1: 26-28) of the Annunciation and Mary’s “yes.”
It is interesting to note that after the Angel Gabriel’s initial greeting that Mary was “greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” The angel’s next words were, Do not be afraid, Mary.” Clearly, Mary was frightened by the visit of the angel. Only after the angel explained the purpose of his visit was Mary able to say, “May it be done to me according to your word.”
It has always intrigued me that as he departed, the angel did not say, “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” We know that Joseph was as perplexed by all of this as was Mary. An angel appeared to him and uttered the same words, “Do not be afraid.”
Both Mary and Joseph said yes to something they could not fully understand Their fear and questions only increased when they had to flee for their lives and for the life of their unborn son. Haven’t most of the “yes” responses in our lives been invitations to enter into things far beyond our immediate understanding? Haven’t there been times when our “yes” responses brought on some degree of fear or anxiety? Haven’t we also discovered that if and when we invite God to be part of our “yes” that these situations resolve themselves better than if we had attempted to figure them out all by ourselves?
Today’s Gospel is not a script for a “feel good” Hallmark Christmas movie. It is, however, a reminder of the choice we can make to trust that God can do for us and with us what we cannot do alone.
This Monday Minute is from Br. Hank Hammer, FMS