Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Annunciation Mary's joyful yes!

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.

1 comment:

Len said...

Thank you, Sister, for being a woman religious in the world who is refreshingly positive--not the bitter type of sister who looks only to gripe about men and authority. I was once with the OMVs, not far from where you are. I left at 21 after postulancy. I know the Daughters are involved in publishing. I could use some "moral support" and maybe some direction in that area. Don't know what to do with a knack for writing, and a whole bunch of saved Word documents--some finished, others just waiting for a reason to be wrapped up. If anything, could you and your Sisters remember me in your prayers. I'd just love to know what to do with this talent, instead of just burying it in my hard drive. Oh, and by the way, I've started a blog site, and posted some recently written Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary (For the Unborn). I've finished the Joyful and Luminous Mysteries, and am finishing up the Glorious and Sorrowful. Please feel free to use them and share them with your community. They are at:
Thanks, Sister. Lenten blessings. In Our Lady of Guadalupe...
Leonard Gutmann