“Let it be done!” On the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, we ponder these humble words of the Blessed Virgin Mary that changed the course of humanity. When the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to conceive a child, his words were perplexing to this young, betrothed woman of modest means: “How can this be?”1 (Lk1:34) But, full of grace, she responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38). Her “Yes!” was more than a complete surrender to, but a prayerful wish for, God’s will2 – and not merely to the uncertainty of the pregnancy, but to all she was foretold in the Angel’s message and later punctuated in Simeon’s prophecy that a sword would pierce her heart (Lk 2:35). That consent to God’s will brought Salvation to mankind.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). With Mary’s unrestricted consent to God’s will, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity became Man – like us in every way but sin – to redeem us and conquer eternal death. Although a King, the Son of God came not in royal vestments, or with celebrity fanfare. Rather, through the Incarnation, He took on His human nature as a most hidden single cell that multiplied in a beautiful orchestration of folding, fusing and forming 3 – He was knit in the womb! Then at the Nativity, nine months later, He entered the world as we do – as a vulnerable, helpless infant depending completely on His most holy Mother and foster father, St. Joseph. And He would grow in wisdom and stature (see Lk 2:52).
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