The archangel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary six months after her cousin, Elizabeth, conceives John the Baptist. Gabriel had previously visited Elizabeth’s husband, Zechariah, letting him to know that they will conceive a child despite their old age and Elizabeth being barren.
When Gabriel visits Mary, he acknowledges that she is “full of grace”or “highly favored”. He brings her the message that she shall conceive the Lord’s son who shall be named Jesus. The Holy Spirit will overshadow her.
This sets up my next favorite verses from Scripture.
When the angel Gabriel presents this announcement, this annunciation, his parting words are:
36 And 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. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
And her reply is so beautiful:
38…“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
I just have to type it out (copy/paste…) in Latin too because it sounds cool:
ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum
This is her “yes!”. Her great amen. Or as we say…her fiat–her powerful, resounding yes that gives us hope for salvation because through her yes we are given our Lord Jesus Christ.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. (Nicene Creed)
I’m a big fan of Luke 1: 38 because it shows Mary’s humility, obedience, and disposition to do God’s will. She said yes!
So to have Mary as model example of what it looks like to follow God’s will is important for me. Really, she’s a model for all of us Christians because we are called to follow God’s will taking up our crosses.
Man, I have such struggles following God’s will. Or sometimes even desiring to do God’s will. Lord, let my will be done according to my word. Yeah, that never works out. My crosses have been hardest to bear when I’m more concerned with my own will than God’s will. And so I strive to look at Mary’s example to remember that whenever God asks me to endure something major (or even something minor), I know that I can say “yes!”.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of Mary and for her yes. I pray for the gift of your graces so that I may respond to those graces in order that I follow your will, which out of your love for me, is what is best for me. All this I pray, as well as the prayer that honors your mother,
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.