So, today I’m sharing this wonderful song sung by Amy Grant. It’s appropriate because today’s Gospel reading for our Liturgical Year is from Luke 1:26-38 on this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s what we call “The Annunciation” when the archangel Gabriel asks Mary if she will play her crucial role in the Salvation of the world. God requests the honor of her “Yes” to the invitation to conceive and bear a Son who will save us all. She has a question, because Mary is human and can’t comprehend what is being asked of her. The angel patiently explains the ‘mechanics’ of it. My Mexican grandmother explained to me once that it was analogous to the sun’s rays shining through a pane of glass. The warmth and the light pass through from the sun, outside of a window, and can be experienced and have effects on the living things within. I can feel the rays on my skin and see the light; a house plant absorbs the light into its very being through photosynthesis and grows and thrives. And so it is when the Holy Spirit “come(s) upon” Mary, and the “power of the Most High overshadow(s)” her. Thus Mary’s baby can be called “holy” and “the Son of God.”
Then Mary said she was the handmaid of the Lord so let it be done to her according to what Gabriel has said. And so, ‘here comes the Son.’ (Sorry for the bad pun.) But all of Creation awaited that ‘yes’ from Mary. There are no adequate words to describe that moment. I appreciate that in the song Mary wonders if God is regretting choosing her to carry Jesus. She faces uncertainty as the weight of this Child within and the weight of the responsibility of raising this holy baby grow greater with each passing day. As a woman who has carried two babies to full term (and then some in the case of my daughter who was 17 days late!) just the carrying of a regular human being is a burden – a blessing, too – but it’s not easy. I can’t even imagine what carrying this Child was like for Mary. I questioned whether I was up to the task with two little human beings. Her baby is human and divine. It would certainly give one pause on occasion, I’ve little doubt.
It’s important to remember that Mary, Jesus’ Mother and ours, was a young woman with a great faith in God and a lot of unanswered questions. But she kept moving forward. And she trusted what God had told her. Even when things went terribly wrong, or seemed to, as she watched her only Son be tortured and killed on a cross, she had questions and she felt His pain as if it were her own, as any mother would. It is a scene none of us who have raised and loved our children wants to contemplate. But we know she was at the foot of the cross when Jesus breathed His last. That tiny baby who needed her for everything from the moment of conception, who she could remember teaching to eat solid food, or to help learn to walk, to learn words, to learn about the Law and the Prophets, she had to watch helplessly as He left her. She would see Jesus again but she didn’t know when that would be when she stood at the Cross. She just trusted, even as the “Why” of it ran through her mind over and over again through the tears and the pain in her heart.
Hers was not a life of luxury or certainty. And whose is? So, we can relate to Mary and her questions. May we look to her for the example of faith and trust in God that she is. May we be Christ bearers to the world now, as she has been since that time. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”