And God waited. Waited for Mary’s reply.
Most of us know our patron Saint’s story well. We know of the Angel Gabriel’s visit and Mary’s reply.
We know she went to see her cousin Elizabeth and the words of our Gospel for today that flowed from that encounter. We know of the birth of Jesus, his presentation and time in the temple.
These the stories in which Mary is in the foreground shape our understanding of her. We could go on to stories from Jesus’ adult life, the cross and beyond but I want today to focus in on that moment in her story when God waited.
Gabriel delivered his message and though he offered words of comfort to Mary there came and we cannot know how long it lasted a silence as God waited. Waited for these words ‘”Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”’
In other words God waited for Mary to say yes. Waited for this young unmarried girl, who was ‘much perplexed’ by what was being asked to say yes.
And her yes reverberates down the ages to us today as we give thanks today for how her story continues to speak to our own. Of how it we reflect on God’s love and God’s invitation to us.
For this love does not demand or compel obedience. It is a love that is infinitely patient that invites and waits for us to say yes in our lives.
And though Mary was caught up in the providential timing of God, something that Paul writes of in that first reading ‘when the fullness of time had come’ her initial yes was something she then repeated every day of her life.
A yes she repeated through her pregnancy, the birth, the early years of Jesus’ life – and we know how demanding that must have been. Into his adulthood, the cross and beyond. Mary kept saying yes to God.
But this ongoing song of yes grew out of that first yes, perplexed and unsure as she was no doubt was. And though the circumstances of our lives are rather different, her story speaks to ours.