“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.” (Luke 1:36-37)
Today is March 25. It is exactly 9 months before Christmas. On this day, Mary gave her consent, her fiat, her “I do” to God’s Divine Proposal. On this day, that great miracle happened. What is this miracle? Through the powerful overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the baby Jesus, the word of God, became flesh in Mary’s womb.
Anyone who understands this miracle (known as the incarnation) cannot afford to ignore Mary. A few days ago, we read about Moses and the encounter with God in the burning bush. God said to Moses: “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5). Moses needed to take off his shoes because God’s presence in the bush had made it holy ground.
Today, we celebrate the day God took human flesh in Mary’s womb. If God himself described the bush as holy, how much more was the womb of Mary? Again, the symbol of the bush on fire yet not consumed explains the virginity of Mary – the woman who became pregnant without losing her virginity.
As Moses took off his shoes before the burning bush, Joseph (the husband of Mary) “took off his shoes” before Mary. There was no way Joseph could have had conjugal union on this holy ground. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with intercourse (between a married couple) but to explain the truth of the situation between Joseph and Mary. Do not forget what the angel said: “with God, nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:38)
Today’s feast is a reminder that God does not force his way in our lives. One Saint said: “God created us without our consent but He will not save us without our consent.” We always have a choice either to say “Yes” or “No” to God’s plans for our lives. Great things happen when we allow God to have His way in our lives.
The book of Hebrews says: “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, burnt offerings and sin offerings you take no pleasure but Behold, I have come to do your will.” (Hebrews 10:5-7) Nothing makes God more pleased than seeing His children doing His will.
“You shall conceive in your womb and bear a Son and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” How happy God must have been when Mary said “Let it be done!” Mary’s acceptance became the beginning of the fulfilment of God’s promises to the people of Israel which the prophets all spoke about.
Mary is that Virgin Isaiah spoke of as a sign to the people of Israel that God has finally sent them the Saviour they have been expecting. Mary’s Yes to God earned her the exalted title of “Ark of the covenant.” The first Ark contained the two stone tablets God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai while the second is Mary who carried Jesus in her womb for nine months. Just as no one could accuse the Israelites of idolatry in their treatment of the Ark, no one can accuse Christians today of idolatry for honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary.
You wonder why the Pope wants to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Mary? Think of how the Israelite Nation were instructed by God to match around the city of Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant. (Read more in Joshua 6:2-20)
God wants to do great and wonderful things through you but He needs you to say “Yes” just as Mary did. Our Responsorial Psalm today give us details of what it means to say “Yes” to God. It sings: “I delight to do your will O my God, your instruction lies deep within me. Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly… your faithfulness and salvation I have spoken. Child of God, come out of darkness today, leave sins behind and say a loud ‘yes’ to God by your life.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, use me like Mary to bring your word to life. Amen
Bible Study: Isaiah 7:10-14,8:10, Ps. 40:7-11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu