The 'yes' heard round the world

Readings for Thursday March 25, 2010

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

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. (Lk 1:30-38)

The phrase "the shot heard round the world" has been used to signify two important events in human history. One was the American Revolutionary War; the other was the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which was the event that began World War I. This phrase is used to say that there was one moment, one decision that was the final breaking point, and after that moment, there would be chain reaction of events that would forever change the history of the world. If it was a simple shot that was the beginning of two very big historic wars, then I would like to propose another event that was is even more historic and has since forever changed all of our lives. It isn't a shot, a war, or a big bang ... it is a simple yes, the yes heard round the world.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord; the moment the angel Gabriel came to Mary to let her in on God's amazing plan. She could have said anything that she wanted; "let me get back to you on that one", "how about next year, I think that will work out better for me", "are you sure that you go the right girl?" She could have talked about much responsibility that sounds like, or how hard it sounds; and she could have also just said no. But instead, she spoke those beautiful words that we read, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." It was here that Mary with complete trust and obedience in the Lord, humbly said "Yes." It was her answer, her yes that would forever change things; and from that moment on, our lives would never be the same.

Today, as she did then, Mary still says yes to God, and invites us to do the same and to follow her example.

Hail Mary, full of Grace. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

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