Daily Reading for April 1 • The Annunciation (transferred)
I once heard an old piece of folklore about Mary. Imagine, this story goes, that the angel of God had been wandering the earth sine the beginning of time, asking people if they would be willing to bring God’s child into the world. Mary was not the most pure, most holy, most beautiful; she was simply the only one gutsy enough to say “yes.”
I love that little addition to the Gospel narrative because it makes us look at the story from a different angle. The Church has traditionally taught us that Mary was selected by God for the most important task of all time, the birth of Christ. Mary is seen as the most pure, the most devout woman in the world. She was selected, out of all the women of all time, to be the mother of God. It’s almost as if Mary is the valedictorian of devotion, she was the best, and she was awarded the greatest honor. But what if her role was awarded to her because she alone was willing, because she agreed? What if it was Mary’s willingness that set her apart?
In the Gospel of Luke, Mary says to the angel Gabriel, “Here am I.” These are words repeated by some of the most devout lovers of God in Scripture. Abraham says, “Here I am.” Isaiah says, “Here I am.” These are the words of those who volunteer to submit themselves to the will of God. These are the words of true devotion. After uttering these words, no one ever stands still.
From Between Two Worlds: Daily Readings for Advent by Kate Moorehead (Cowley Publications, 2003).