Mary, like every Jewish girl, engaged to Joseph, the Carpenter. Six months have passed by, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary in Nazareth, and greeted Mary with these words “Hail, Full of grace! The Lord is with you” (Lk 1/28). Hearing these words, Mary was perplexed and did not understand what it all means. The angel assured her that there is no need of being afraid but she has found favor with God. Further the angel said “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you will name Him Jesus”(Lk 1/31). He will be called “Son of the Most High” and He will receive the “throne of His ancestor David”. He would be the God sent Messiah, to save Israel from the bandages and to give liberation to the people, as the Jewish were expecting that God would be sending Messiah to save the people from the yoke of the Romans.
This would have been the great event to see the angel of the Lord speaking to her. Mary has not given her consent “yes” in a momentary ecstasy without knowing what to say. She is not carried away by the excitement. She puts forward a simple and clear question to the angel, “How, is it possible? because I know not my husband”. This clearly indicates Mary’s alertness and awareness while talking to the angel she was clear about the unimaginable privilege that God has offered to her. She was courageous to ask for explanation from the angel. It is a deliberate and precise “yes” with clarity. Mary demonstrates herself as a woman of courage, though she was a simple country girl.
Secondly she was well aware of the consequences of an unmarried woman getting pregnant, the accusations of the society, rejection by her betrothed husband, Joseph, being stoned to death for the crime. However, Mary replied to angel “Behold I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your words”. Her ‘yes’ was a courageous, deliberate, decisive and determined ‘yes’. It is an expression of her reediness to conceive the Son of God and fulfill God’s plan for the salvation of mankind.
Mary stands as a model for us for the clarity of purpose and courageous in decision making. We should not be carried away by the momentary excitement without clarity of purpose in what we give our consent. Moreover we should be courageous in our decision making in spite of the consequences when it is a question of truth and justice.
Let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary to interceed for us from her beloved Son, Jesus to give us the clarity of purpose and courage in decision making as she manifested them in her very life situations to collaborate with God’s plan of salvation in bringing the Kingdom of God on this earth.
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur