"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Today, we celebrate one of the most critical feasts in all of Christian history. In fact, it might be the critical feast. Without the Annunciation, there could never have been a Christmas. Without the Annunciation, there never could have been a Good Friday or an Easter. The faithfulness of Mary, even as a very young girl, is such an inspirational event. Nobody had ever given birth to God before, so she obviously had no frame of reference, yet, she is very firm in her fiat – her decision to exercise her faith: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
We too are called to that same kind of faith, because surely the glory of God is aching to be born in all of us. We are called to bring Christ's presence to every corner of our world, every place where we are. The prospects of that can be scary, because we too don't know what the implications of God's work in us will be. We may be called upon to feed the hungry, or clothe the naked, or visit the sick, or shelter the homeless, or any of the other corporal works of mercy. But do we have those resources? Maybe not, but we are called to be Christ in those situations anyway. We might respond as Mary did at first: "How can this be?" But ultimately, we must respond that we are the Lord's handmaids an accept the call with great faith.
Mary is our patron whenever we feel overwhelmed by the task. May we rely on her intercession to guide us through the dark pathways of the unknown. May we look to her for an example of faith. May we follow her great example and let the Lord be born in us too, so that our Incarnate Lord can be made manifest in our world yet again. May we, like Mary, cry out in faith, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."