Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. Usually this is celebrated on March 25th, but since that landed in Holy Week this year, it was transferred to today. This feast is the celebration of the Angel Gabriel coming to Mary to announce to her that she would be the Mother of God Himself, and of Mary saying yes in the face of the unknown.
Being named Mary myself, Marian feasts have always caught my attention, and now that I have kids, I have even more to reflect on today. With both of my pregnancies, I knew it was likely I was pregnant when I took that first pregnancy test. Yet even though it was no surprise to see that little line, it still just blew me away to realize that there was this brand new tiny life inside of me. It’s a wonderful mixture of joy and fear, as you look forward to meeting and getting to know this little person, and also realize that this means there is a brand new soul that you are responsible for! You are not only responsible for their physical safety as they grow up and learn to ride bikes and do all sorts of heart-stoppingly dangerous activities, but for training them in the direction of Heaven – knowing that your actions as parent could have eternal consequences for them. Whoa.
But today I imagine, what if instead of being 20-something, married, and trying to get pregnant, I was a teenager, unmarried, and knew I had no chance of being pregnant because I was a virgin. I imagine that instead of going out to buy a pregnancy test and happily taking it knowing it will probably be positive, I was quietly reading in my home when all of a sudden an ANGEL appears out of nowhere in my room to announce my pregnancy. And I imagine that instead of knowing this tiny person is a mix of my husband and myself, that the child within me IS GOD. Um, wow. I think I might freak out a bit, to say the least! How lucky for all of us that Mary was poised enough to ask how it is possible and then simply trust and say,
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38)
So today I plan to reflect on Mary’s trust and faith. I constantly find myself worrying and freaking out about something in my life, when what I need to do is let go of the anxiety and stress, trust that God’s Will will be done, and do whatever I can actually do to help the situation. I can’t get my kids to Heaven all by myself. I need to place my worry for their physical, emotional and spiritual safety in the hands of Our Lord, while working steadfastly to keep them safe, happy and headed towards Heaven. What a joy that we have such a wonderful example, in Mary, of how to give up our own concern and anxiety and just say “Yes”.