To many of us, this story from the Gospel of Luke is very familiar. But have we stopped to ponder its meaning and the effects Mary’s faithful fiat (submission to God) has on our lives? Many times, I simply think of Mary saying yes to God in this one particular moment. While this one “yes” was very self-sacrificing, I tend to forget she also had duties like us. She continued to live out her faith each and every day “in the simplicity of the thousand daily tasks and worries of every mother, such as providing food, clothing, caring for the house…. It was precisely Our Lady’s normal life which served as the basis for the unique relationship and profound dialogue which unfolded between her and God, between her and her Son,” reminds Pope Francis during his General Audience, October 23, 2013. Her uncountable yeses each and every day ultimately prepared her for the pain and suffering of watching her son brutally die a criminal’s death on a cross.
While we might not be given signs such as an aged relative’s pregnancy to confirm an announcement by an angel, we are no less called to say “yes” to God’s callings in our lives so we can grow in holiness.
As we have recently celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation, we should ponder what God is calling us to say “yes” to. How is God calling you to live out your faith in your daily life? Is He asking you to say yes to doing the tasks that seem mundane, like folding laundry, mowing the yard, and cooking dinner with cheerfulness? Is He calling you to say yes to mental prayer for ten minutes each day? Or, is He calling you to say yes to giving up your latte each week so you can give alms to the poor? Just like Mary, these little “yeses” can help us grow in holiness and hopefully lead us to heaven.
Growing in the ability to say yes also allows us to follow in the footsteps of Mary, who following her “yes” to God, was able to give voice to the faithfulness of God in her famous, beautiful Magnificat:
My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever (Luke 1:46-55).
from an article by Sarah and Justin Kraft