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“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.” Mary’s yes is a pivotal moment in God’s plan for Salvation; it is a unique moment where God asks a simple, humble woman to be part of His plan for mankind. Many are the paintings which depict Mary in a pious, reverent position listening to the angel, it seems to me that it is too romantic to be true. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that Mary wasn’t in such a position maybe she was cooking, doing her daily day to day housewife business. Maybe she was thinking about her future, making plans of her own.
But God had another future, another life for her, to call her by another name. Pope Benedict XVI writes: “In fact, the Angel, “appearing to her”, does not call her by her earthly name, Mary, but by her divine name, as she has always been seen and characterized by God: “Full of grace – gratia plena“, and the grace is none other than the love of God; thus, in the end, we can translate this word: “beloved” of God (cf. Lk 1: 28). Origen observes that no such title had ever been given to a human being, and that it is unparalleled in all of Sacred Scripture (cf. In Lucam 6: 7).”
The Angel’s annunciation to Mary and most importantly her acceptance, brought about a new and much awaited phase in God’s plan of salvation. A phase which was to change forever man’s relation with God, whereby mankind had the opportunity to look at Truth, when it looked at Christ, to be filled with everlasting hope when reflecting on what he said. Mary’s yes was indeed a yes for everything which one finds in the Church. On Mary’s role in establishing the Church, Pope Benedict XVI writes: “The icon of the Annunciation, more than any other, helps us to see clearly how everything in the Church goes back to that mystery of Mary’s acceptance of the divine Word, by which, through the action of the Holy Spirit, the Covenant between God and humanity was perfectly sealed. Everything in the Church, every institution and ministry, including that of Peter and his Successors, is “included” under the Virgin’s mantle, within the grace-filled horizon of her “yes” to God’s will.”
It has always amazed me how a simple yes from a frightened, unsure, puzzled yet faithful woman from the least known corners of the world was to change history and humanity forever.
Prayer: Mary’s yes to you O Lord, changed lives and divided time before and after its pronunciation, may we accept whatever you have in store for us Lord, a yes for your plan and an affirmation of your will. We ask you Lord to grant us the faith to accept your wish, so that we too like Mary would be granted the joy of knowing you and come to love you.