Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
When Mary proclaimed to the angel Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” I couldn’t help but think how her life was irrevocably and unpredictably changed at that moment. As I read today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) I wondered about the wave of fear and emotion that must have overcome her as she grappled with the consequences of her answer. How would she explain this to Joseph, her family, friends and community? How could she measure up to the responsibility of raising the Son of God? Who did Mary turn to in the moments after Gabriel’s departure? What were Mary’s prayers after the “yes?” I wondered if her emotions and prayers were much like that of any other expectant mother. I couldn’t help but think they were.
Even though I have prayed to Mary for intercession many times in my life, my connection to her grew strongest after learning of my own expectancy. I found myself asking for her guidance on how to overcome my fears of the uncertainty that lie ahead. I asked for her help in finding a deeper faith, I so desperately needed to find the peace of mind which had eluded me during pregnancy. I prayed for inspiration and guidance to help me provide my family with the same nurturing love she had showed hers. And I asked for her help in finding the courage needed to guide my child in a faith-filled life.
Through the Annunciation Mary accepted – her call. A call that must have been accompanied by much prayer and devotion; and a courage that has been a great source of strength and unity to so many. I can’t help but believe that Mary’s actions influence us, as we accept – our call, and put our complete trust in the Lord.
Angela Kwasinski is the Director of Donor Relations for the Holy Cross Province Development Office in Chicago, Illinois.