“And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:36-38)
Our Gospel passage presents us with the scene of the Annunciation; the announcement to Mary by the same Angel Gabriel who had earlier on visited Zechariah. While Zechariah asked the Angel: “How shall I know this…?” Mary asked: “How will this come about …?”
There is a whole world of difference between these two questions. While the first want to be sure about the authenticity of the message, the second already believes but asks for details. By asking how this was to happen, Mary already showed her cooperation with God; her willingness to ensure that God’s plan materializes.
The final response of Mary to the Angel clearly shows Mary’s humility. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.” In other words, “Your will O Lord and not mine should be done.” This should be our attitude towards God.
We live in an age and time when prayers have become command statements to God. We give God instructions. We want God to do exactly what we want fast and with careful precision. We really don’t care so much about doing God’s will or not but we want Him to do what we ask for. We sometimes even threaten God in our prayer.
Let us learn from Mary to say to God: “Behold I am your handmaid, let your will be done in my life.” Mary abandoned herself for God and her consent allowed God to work mightily in her. Mary became the virgin in whose life was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah to King Ahaz.
In moments of temptation, do I realize that God also seeks my consent? To allow God’s will to be done or to allow that which would please the devil. Do I even consider what my life would be when I truly say to God; “I am your handmaid, let what you have said be done; let your will Oh God be done, let your commandments prevail in my life.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, fill me with joy. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 7:10-14, Ps. 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38).