Will You Say “Yes” To The Lord?

8 Dec

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”  (Lk 1:38)

There are two dogmas that have been proclaimed about the Blessed Virgin Mary.  One is that, at the end of her days on earth, she was assumed, body and soul, into heaven.  That would appear to be impossible, though.  Because of original sin entering the world, we have all become mortal and our bodies corruptible.  When we die, we return to the “stuff” from which we were made.  We are reminded of that each Ash Wednesday when we hear the admonition, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

If Mary was to be assumed, body and soul, into heaven, she would have to be untouched by the stain of original sin.  We believe that is precisely what happened to her.  The second dogma regarding Mary we celebrate at Mass today:  the Immaculate Conception.  Pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, declared that it was our firm belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin.

Why?  Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin so that she would be a worthy vessel to bear Jesus into our world.  Being preserved from the stain of original sin, however, did not take away Mary’s free will.  As human as you or me, Mary was given a choice.  The Angel Gabriel told Mary that God wanted her to be the mother of the Savior.  Gabriel did not order her to do so.  He invited.

The reason we honor Mary so highly is because she said “Yes” even though she did not fully understand what the Angel was telling her.  She had no idea of the ramifications of her “Yes”.  She did not know the path that her “Yes” would lead her on.  All she knew was that she was a child of God and that, if God asked her to do something, she was going to accept the call.

We may not have been born without the stain of original sin; however, original sin was washed away from our soul by virtue of our baptism.  We were filled with grace at that time and continue to receive God’s grace daily, most especially when we participate in the sacraments.

You and I could learn a lot from Mary.  For, after all, we are the servants of the Lord as well.  God calls each and every one of us to holiness.  He invites us to participate in His plan.  He awaits our “Yes”.

What will our answer be today?

FAITH ACTION:  Prayerfully reflect upon the story of the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38).  Put yourself in Mary’s shoes.  How would you feel?  How would you react?

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.