One day Mary was going about her business, whatever that was. We don’t really know much about Mary beyond the usual life of a woman in the Middle East at the time. Maybe she was dreaming about her upcoming marriage. Perhaps she was weaving linens she would use in her new home with Joseph. She could have been out running errands for her mother. But suddenly the Angel Gabriel came and announced she was going to have a baby via the Holy Spirit, who would be the son of God. And Mary said yes.
The angel was extraordinary. Announcing that the baby would be the son of God was extraordinary. But perhaps most extraordinary to me, is that Mary said yes when God asked this amazing thing of her. The story in Luke makes us feel that Mary could have said, “no way!” and that would have been the end of it for Mary. Instead, Mary – after asking a few questions – told Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Mary might have regretted her yes later. As a young woman, probably about 16, she might not have realized the implications of that yes. When Mary said yes to God, did she realize Joseph might put her away? Did she understand how the townspeople would whisper about her behind her back or call her names to her face? Did Mary think about how her parents would react when she came to them with this harebrained story?
And once Mary said yes, there was no going back. She couldn’t change her mind about being the mother of the son of God. I wonder how many times she regretted saying yes to God as time went on. Or was Mary a woman of such simple faith that she never doubted God would make it all come out right in the end?
So many people in our world today are saying no to God. How are we, the people of faith, saying yes? Are we willing to do what God calls us to, even if it seems incredible? Are we willing to change, to grow, to go where he sends us?
Mary said yes to God and changed the world by becoming the mother of God. How can we say yes to God today?