The Annunciation

Today was supposed to be the day to celebrate the angel Gabriel's visit to Mary and the conception of Jesus, not to mention that it is only nine months until Christmas.  And while we aren't exactly celebrating it as I had hoped, the occasion still speaks to us of something powerful and important.  Like Mary we don't know what lies around the corner.  We aren't sure exactly what is going to happen.  Mary very courageously said "Yes" to God's plan for her to be the mother of the Messiah.  She realised full well that By saying yes she was complicating her future with Joseph and aware that she might be left alone to fend for herself and her unborn baby.  There were no guarantees that life would be a bed of roses.  And in spite of it all she stepped out in faith and helped change everything in the process.  That's a pretty heady thing for a young girl of 14 or 15.  One can't help but wonder if she would have been so willing had she been able to see what would happen to her son along the way, the fleeing from Herod's soldiers becoming refugees in a strange land, nor the price he would pay by walking the way of the Cross in Jerusalem.  Would she have been so brave had she been able to foresee the future?  But above all she trusted in God's promises, the ones he had made to his chosen people hundreds of years before.  She knew that if God couldn't bring it to fruition, no one could.  So she stepped up to the challenge and trusted in God.  Maybe we need to trust a bit more and rely on the only one who can bring us through these challenging times.  He will and so will we!  Let's keep faith and trust in God just as that young girl did in Nazareth 2000 years ago. 


A contemporary scene of the Annunciation (2000) by John Collier an American artist.  It shows Mary as a school girl surprised by the angel.  The uniform and houses look like they are out of the 1950's, but the traditional lilies are there as is the prophecy from Isaiah that Mary always seems to be reading in the Old Masters.  The keen-eyed will spot the dove sitting on the eaves of the house next door waiting for Mary's response.