Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Mary is the ultimate handmaid of the Lord and example of perfect obedience, but her humanity shines through in this passage. She shows us that fear and having difficulties, especially when we’re on the receiving end of big curveballs in our lives, is perfectly normal. What a consolation that Mary’s “yes” wasn’t a knee-jerk response! She had to absorb and process the words before assenting to God’s will in her life.
Isn’t that incredible? Not only did God humble Himself to the extent that He shared in our humanity, but He humbled Himself enough to ask a betrothed virgin to mother His Son, and He waited for her free “yes” to make it happen. That just blows me away. God never, ever, ever treads upon our free will. He wants us to freely choose Him and all that He has in store for us, but we have to want it.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a fantastic section on the Characteristics of Faith. One of the characteristics of faith is that it is certain. What does that mean?
157. Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but “the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives.” “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.”
I love that! Mary was having some serious difficulty in wrapping her mind around the Angel Gabriel’s words, but she was not doubting that they were true. As a faithful Jewish woman, Mary trusted that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the fathers would not lie. She knew that the Angel Gabriel’s words were true because they were coming from God’s messenger. That didn’t mean they were easy to absorb or even palatable! The mother of the Son of God?! What?!
Mary was free to give her “yes” to God because she was a truly liberated woman. She was so free from sin and had her will so united to God’s that she was willing to shoulder the great privilege and cross of being Jesus’ mother. Imagine that kind of liberation! Imagine hearing God’s plan for your life and accepting it as your path, regardless of whether or not you would have chosen it on your own.
When faced with a curveball in my life, do I allow myself to stay stuck at, “How can this be?” How can I better follow Mary’s perfect example?
God, thank you for the gift of my Mother Mary. Please help me to always remember that “ten thousand difficulties do not make up a doubt.” Regardless of whatever difficulties I may face, do not allow me to doubt You. Mother Mary, please help me to bridge the gap from, “How can this be?” to, “Let it be done,” in my own life. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Catherine Boucher