Today is March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation. The event in history when the angel Gabriel went to Mary and announced that she was to be the Mother of God. All she had to do was say ‘Yes.’
Just say ‘yes’, Mary. Heaven is waiting in silence for you to say ‘yes.’
Well of course she said ‘yes’ and as they say, the rest is history. But what if she had said ‘no’ to God? Things would have turned out quite differently, don’t you think?
And then there was St. Joseph. He too said ‘yes’ to God when he took Mary to be his wife. Now here was a guy who was told to take a wife who was a virgin and had taken a vow to be one the rest of her life. On top of that, he later discovers that Mary is pregnant and he had nothing to do with it. Yet Joseph still said ‘yes’ to God.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m glad God didn’t ask me to offer that resounding ‘yes’ way back when. Chances are, I would have blown it. Because I am deathly afraid to let go and just do what God is asking me to do. How about you?
I mean, what if God asks me to do something difficult or scary or embarrassing? What if God asks me to do something I can’t do? What if I fail? What if people laugh at me? Or worse, what if they get angry and tear into me?
And that’s why I have to work on building up my confidence in God. Confidence that says “You know what? I don’t know how this is going to work or even if it will work, but I know it’s what God wants me to do.” Jesus said over and over and over in the Bible to “Fear not.” Easier said than done sometimes for us humans diseased with Original Sin.
Unfortunately, we don’t have angels appear to us, telling us to do this or do that, go here or go there, pick these winning lottery numbers or those. Instead, we get inspirations from God in more subtle ways like through prayer and by virtue of having a strong sacramental life. In fact, most of the time, we can have a pretty good idea about what God wants for us.
But something that also gets in the way is a pride that says “I know better than you, God” or even just an almost childish stubbornness when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t want to do what You want me to do, I want things my own way.”
And of course, when you get your own way, things usually go south pretty quick. It’s as if God says, “Okay, you want it your way? Go give it a try. I’ll wait here for you…”
Thankfully, Mary and Joseph were not the selfish or prideful sort. Their “Yeses” were the beginning of the greatest story the world has ever known: The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So during this Lenten season, if you too are having some trust issues with God, take the time and effort to put your will in the dumpster and embrace what God has for you.
It’s not easy… no one ever said it was. But who ever said being a Catholic would be easy?