The Gospel for today's Mass is taken from Luke's beautiful account of the Annunciation. The angel Gabriel visited the virgin and offered her a proposal from God. Mary accepted, and changed the world forever.
One aspect of Mary's "yes" that attracts me is that it was a joyful yes. There are times when it's hard to say yes to God, when it's a question of doing something difficult or distasteful, or of some suffering that comes into our lives. For those times, we have the example of the "yes" that Jesus said in Gethsemane. But that was very different from the Annunciation. In the agony in the garden, Jesus knew he was entering into a cosmic struggle with Evil. He prayed to the Father to be spared that trial, but with the proviso "not your will but mine be done." It was the Father's will that Jesus go into that struggle, and he did.
But Mary's yes is a joyful one. God was offering her a great gift, and she accepted wholeheartedly. This isn't just a pious thought, but is borne out by the Gospel text itself. The word Luke uses to describe Mary's acceptance is "genoito"--let it be done. It's a form of the verb that's used only rarely in the New Testament--the optative mood. This verb form expresses a joyful willingness, even an eagerness to do something. It expresses a desire and a strong wish. So Mary said "yes" with all the desire of her heart.
May we too have the same openness to accept God's greatest gift--our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago speaks out about preserving conscience protection for health care workers who object to abortions. The link to the USCC website gives more details. As you probably know, the Obama administration has announced its intention to do away with these conscience protections.