Have you ever wondered what it was like for Mary the day the angel Gabriel appeared to her? So much of our lives seem to just happen to us. And yet, here is a young woman standing in the very presence of the divine and she has a choice. Mary shows a range of emotions that are both normal and at the same time astonishing. She is understandably afraid but also has the presence of mind to ask questions like “How can this be?” She listens and then decides.
In those moments of decision, what was it like for God? Humanity’s free will stands between God and salvation history. Nothing was settled until Mary said it was. Did the Holy hold the Divine breath?
Mary’s words echo through our Churches and through our hearts, “May it be done to me according to your word.” Her yes changed everything in the course of human history. One simple “yes” to do God’s will changed the world. We retell this story not just for story’s sake though. We recount the story because it makes a difference for us today. God’s word is a living word.
I believe that God sends angels to each of us asking us to cooperate with God’s will. In May, my yes came as I made my final monastic profession. What is God asking of you?
Ana Cloughly, OSB