The Annunciation and The Art of Surrender
The Blessed Virgin Mary, or as Catholics lovingly call her “Mother Mary” is one of the most important and revered individuals depicted throughout the New Testament of the Holy Bible, being that she is the Mother of God.
From the gospel of James, we see that Mary was born to two loving parents, Joaquim and Anne. Mary was born and raised as a young Jewish Israelite, who took her oath to virginity. She stayed in Nazareth, Galilee for most of her young life until she was betrothed to a young man named Joseph.
It was during her engagement with Joseph when Angel Gabriel, bearer of God’s news, came to Mary with a special announcement: God’s calling to her to be the mother of the Messiah with the conception to be aided through the Holy Spirit. This was the Annunciation.
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. – Luke 1 : 26-38
The Annunciation marks the beginning and the significance of Mary’s fiat, or her willingness to accept God’s holy plans for her.
What is the significance of this?
Despite having accepted the honor of giving birth to the Messiah, Mary knew that she would suffer immensely with the plan God had in mind. She was now to be an unwed mother with a fiancé who could leave her. Also, she knew that her son would go through much anguish in His life and may even possibly be persecuted to death. Little did she know that the full extent of her pain in seeing her son struggle from rejection and face the worst form of execution would be beyond words. Little did she know that she would one day weep at the feet of the cross for the Messiah who was once that little boy cradled in her arms.
Nevertheless, she accepted God’s calling with the strength in her heart and became the faithful servant we all come to admire today. God saw the purity of grace and obedience in Mary, and blessed her by His choosing.
This teaches us the art of Surrendering – letting God’s ultimate plan take over so that we may fulfill our true purpose in this life. This teaches us to place our faith and trust in God; that even if the ugliest of difficulties and troubles come to us, we can graciously and humbly accept God’s plan – the way Mother Mary did.
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is His name.
His mercy extends to those who fear Him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and His descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.” – Luke 1:46-55, NIV
Surrender to God, my friend. Serve Him no matter what the cost. God has a special purpose for you too.