What Mary Gave Up to Accept God’s Invitation

Whatever else it involves, allowing ourselves to be transformed by God involves giving up some things we might have formed some attachment to. Consider the example of Mary, who we celebrate today on this feast of the Annunciation.

A young woman in love is engaged to be married. What is her vision of her future? When she contemplates what her life will be, what does it look like, feel like to her?

A nice wedding – perhaps as she imagines it, she can almost taste her favorite dishes that will be part of the wedding feast.

Maybe a little time alone with her husband in marriage – getting to know each other better – physically (she perhaps blushes as that through crosses her mind) as well as emotionally, beginning to grow into their life together.

She pictures the home they will make together, imagining all the little touches she will put on the place in which they will live together. (Perhaps she has already started sewing items they will use around the house.)

Then the birth of their first child, who she knows they will both love (and probably spoil). So excited is she that the pains of pregnancy don’t even enter her mind.

The fist child starts to grow, and a second comes along, perhaps a third. She sees her and her husband educating their children together – in their faith, in a trade, in other life skills.

She imagines her children growing, and the pride she will feel as they go off on their own. And she smiles thinking of their own weddings…and the children they will bear – her grandchildren.

She imagines all of these things and gives thanks to God for blessing her with this wonderful man she is going to marry.

And then an angel visits her and tells her a story that must have sounded shocking to her ears and that must have terrified her. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you will conceive and bear the Son of God. God has a plan and God wants you to be part of that plan.

It is impossible for us to really imagine what must have gone through Mary’s mind when she heard the news. Confusion. Anxiety. Fear.

But we know that somehow she worked her way through all of these emotions and was able to say Yes to God’s invitation to be part of God’s plan. Yes, Lord, as you will. Let it be done unto me according to your Word.

Are we willing to give up our plans, our attachments, to say yes to God’s invitation as fully as did Mary?