When a couple is about to get married, one of the things that we as priests look into is the reason for the marriage. We try to find out if both parties are entering into the marriage not out of force, not out of fear, or not coerced, or for any other reason. Otherwise, there is no relationship to speak of. In any relationship, the response to love is to love back.
In the Gospel, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that God loves her, she is so blessed, and that God has a plan for her. Where did this plan originate? When Eve sinned, the very first promise of God was to send a Messiah. This Messiah will be brought to the world through a Woman, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.”
As in a relationship, the Lord had to wait for the “Yes” of Mary. While the plan brought fear to Mary, love conquered the fear. Because of the Yes, the savior was brought into the world.
In today’s Mass, we are invited to say YES to God in three ways:
- Yes to God’s call to avoid SIN. Sin is turning away from God. Sin is not listening to God. Sin is doing what is not part of our being human, (“You will be like God.”). This is what Eve did to God in the first reading.
- Yes to a RELATIONSHIP. The second reading reminds us of our relationship with God. It was God who first loved us and he desires that we respond in Love as well. Hence, notice that even if we are unfaithful, God is always faithful. He is just waiting for us to return to Him.
- Yes to God’s Plan and Mission. Why are we here on earth? Like Mary, God has a plan and mission for you and me. Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception because God has a plan for Mary that she will be born into the world without original sin. Why? Because it is through Mary’s womb that the Savior will come into the world and no sin should touch our Savior.
We pray that as we find ourselves in situations that are difficult, out of our comfort zone, or filled with uncertainty and fear, we remember Mary. She too was in the same situation. Yet, she knew that God has a plan, God will never abandon her, and with God nothing is impossible. Hence may Mary’s words of trust be our words of trust as well. “May it be done to me according to your word.”