I don't know about you, but when I have a very serious decision to make, I must mull through it, and rehash, ask other's for their opinion, look for confirmations. And, still even after all that I'm not sure. Then, of course there is prayer, asking for God's help. Frankly, sometimes I enter into something uncertain, hoping that I did the right thing. Then, sometimes I realize that what happens, just is. Then, also there are the regrets. Decision making is not always easy. It has to come from the heart. Yet, if I've done all of the above, ultimately, I must trust in the Lord.
The feast of the Annunciation which is celebrated today, says a lot about the character of the Mother of God. So, if you would, I'd like to share a few of my thoughts, the female ones.
1. Of course she had to feel afraid, seeing an Angel. That doesn't happened everyday. Not only an angel but one of the Captains, Gabriel, not from this world.
2. Then, it was an "on the spot" decision. (I'm not certain I would have had that much courage).
3. She, being a child herself, was a dependent on her family, and of course, espoused to Joseph. What would she tell them, knowing the penalty of that crime was to be stoned to death? Saying "yes" meant death.
4. She was pure, and undefiled, not knowing a man, and not having children, was she aware of the responsibility of motherhood?
5. What would she would suffer as a result of her decision? In today's terms, what is the cost?
Then there is the view that she was conceived "immaculately" without sin, and that was without her knowledge. Of course, you have to believe that there is such a thing as "original sin," in which I do not share in that dogma. It suggests that Mary would have had no decision, and her "free will" would not have existed. (The bible clearly says that Jesus is the only sinless one). Angel Gabriel waited for her approval. "Yes", was her immediate answer. If she was predestined, created without "free will", God would have "forced her" to love Him. That's not the God I know and Love. He wants and awaits our decision. Otherwise, He could have created us all Robots. We would be His slaves. No, you cannot force anyone to love you! Someone asked me, then how could Mary have had the courage to do what she did? It is a mystery. God can do anything. Look at Saul, Paul for another example of saying "Yes" to God, a choice we will all have to make at some point.
Mary was pure, holy, undefiled. "She decided" to become the Theotokos, "God bearer" or mother of God. She placed her trust in Him, and He dwelt in her virginal womb, one of the great mystery's, saying "Yes," to God's plan of salvation. He chose Zion and Mary. Mary could have said "No", but an all-knowing God knew she would accept His plan for her. A plan that opened paradise to the "thief," and is available to us. A beautiful song called "Mary Did You Know," which I heard recently, contains words that stuck me as a mother, "and when you kissed the face of Your child, you kissed the face of God." Blessed are you, Mary for you have born the Savior of our souls.
Holy week is here, and once again, we are reminded today of what is being asked of us. The same as what was asked of Mary and Peter, "Do You Love Me?"
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