Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Annunciation, and today’s Gospel reading is the familiar account from the Gospel of Luke of the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary. It is a scene many of us have prayed with often, and one I have spoken or written about on any number of occasions.
The two things that came up in my prayer this morning on this reading were these.
First, God consistently asks for human participation in his plan of salvation. God has done so from the beginning of time. God doesn’t need our help, but could do everything without us. And God could have created us with no will to do anything other than that which he demanded. But God didn’t. Instead, God created human beings capable of consenting to or deviating from God’s plan for salvation. And while God desires our consent and cooperation, he will not force it.
Second, Mary’s yes to what must have seemed like an outlandish request, invites us to ask where am I being invited to say yes today?
In the midst of this crazy time in which we are living, what is the invitation? Perhaps it is to find ways to reach out to support family, friends or strangers. Perhaps it is to grow in patience in dealing with the difficulties of work and schooling from home.
And so the questions I ask, and we all can ask, are
What am I being invited to say yes to today – in the concrete situation in which we find ourselves?
And what is my response?