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Sunday, 30 April 2023 18:56

Moments with Mary - The Annunciation



The campaign of divine stealth

  begins at night.

While you and I stare mechanically at our TV sets,

  the neighbours down the road are quarrelling violently,

  Vin next door just died quietly from a heart-attack

  and Sara over the back is having contractions,

God is neither absent nor untouched.

Rather, supremely involved in all of these activities,

  He is about to transform them.

For this He needs co-operation.

An ordinary girl in an ordinary town in the backwaters of the Roman Empire

  is His choice.

Well, perhaps she is extraordinary,

  for she has not lost that simplicity of person that leaves her innocently open to God

  and radiantly open to others.

Anyway, to her He comes.

As a normal part of her day, she prays.

Still, silent, perfectly open and present to her God…

  physically silent, that is.

Radiance fills the air

  and my spirit can hear the simple overflow

  of her very self to God.

For the first time, He interrupts.

His unexpected response is terrifying.

Its reality for her life will be as terrible

  and as great

  as this first moment suggests.

Honoured and chosen as the Mother of God,

  she will suffer to bring this child into the world:

    physical discomfort, loss of reputation, unkindness, rejection…

    are just the beginning…

She simply assents.

If I were the Son of God,

  I’d choose to be born another way.

I’d herald my coming widely,

  with messengers sent to all of the important people everywhere,

    street preachers,

      ad campaigns…

        all the bells and whistles!

I’d probably appear in glory from the clouds, too,

  and as an adult in rude good health.

I’d dazzle people by my sheer personality

  and make life comfortable for myself and my friends.

Everyone would know that I was there,

  and who I was.

Instead, He comes when least expected –

  a lull in the hostilities in the Middle East –

to grow, hidden, in the womb of an unknown girl in an obscure town.

No heralds, no fanfare,

  only the bare facts to those who need to know.

They respect His confidentiality

  and don’t share what they know.

Therein she shows her greatness,

  our Mother.

Thrust from the depths of obscurity

  to be the most revered (and scorned)

  woman of all time.

Entrusted with the Son of God,

  she seeks no concessions, no compensation,

  no glory.

She simply assents to God’s will at each moment:

“Yes,” I will carry Your Son;

“Yes,” I will say nothing of this to others

  and so suffer their gossip, judgments, scorn, unkindness and rejection.

The Humility of God becomes flesh in her,

  and she allows Him to remain incognito.

Such selflessness silently displays

  her own holiness,

  the humility that perfects her for the task.

Katherine Stone

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