The Annunciation of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, a mere several days before the beginning of Holy Week. It is a meaningful juxtaposition.

When the Angel Gabriel came and invited Mary to participate in God’s plan for salvation, Mary said yes. She could not possibly at that point have had any idea what that yes would mean – what pain it would bring her. She said yes not knowing that a sword would pierce her heart. She chose to say to God, “Let my life be your will, and not mine,” willing to live through whatever the end result of that would be, without knowing what it would look like. We move into a week where we will walk with the suffering Mary had as she endures the suffering and death of her son.

I joke sometimes when talking about the Annunciation that, being a lawyer by training, I don’t tend to sign documents without looking at them. I want all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, and I want to fully understand everything, before I commit myself to something. I don’t much like surprises and I want a clear idea of what I’m getting myself into. But I also recognize that, as the Annunciation makes clear, with God we don’t always get all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. God invites us to follow Him on a path that is sometimes misty, in ways that raise questions we cannot always see the answers to.

In the words of Brenda Morris in a poem titled, Theotokos, “Our yes to God “can never be informed consent but always something like a pregnancy – A risky state which nurtures the unknown and lets it grow.”