March 25, 2020: A Reflection for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
One simple word: Yes. Let it be done to me according to your word. And God enters our world in our flesh.
One of my favorite paintings of the annunciation is the one of Mary, sitting on the edge of a couch, pensive, pondering, trying to grasp the breaking in of an angel into her simple life, already planned to be lived with Joseph her betrothed. It is announced to her that she will conceive a child, a son, and he will be the Messiah. The Son of God. And her response to this is yes. Yes!! With all my heart, let it be done to me as you say. She must have spent much time in prayer to Yahweh. How else could such a resounding “Yes!” have come so quickly to her lips. A true daughter of Israel, devoted heart and soul to God. She could let God turn her world upside down.
Mary, what was it like to enter into so much mystery, as an anawim, a poor one. You knew your creatureliness and your greatness as a child of God. You could proclaim the greatness of God in body and soul. Yet you did not ask for a blueprint of what lie ahead. You didn’t need to know all the details of what it means to be the mother of the Messiah. You got past your fears and qualms, and rested in that place deep within, that place of your creatureliness and your greatness, and in the trust and abandon of love, you said “Yes. Let it be done.” Not a wimpy, halfhearted yes, but, “Oh yes! Let me do everything to bring about the fulfillment of your will. Yes! I am your maidservant. I am poor and made great in poverty of spirit.”
Mary, anawim of God, help us to accept the gift of our creatureliness and our greatness. Take our hand and lead us to your Son when the path gets dark and we struggle to utter our yes to the mystery of God as it presents itself in our lives. Help us to let go of having to know, to control, to try to be the architects of our daily lives and beyond. In the peacefulness of trust and surrender, give us a double portion of your spirit and may we say with you to God: Yes! Let it be done.