At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, 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.” Luke 1:26-38
What is relative to us here on earth, feet on the ground, is not relative to a sparrow. What is relative to a blue whale calling for a mate in the oceans is not relative to a bonsai tree in Kyoto, Japan.
What is relative to Mary? And how is that relative to us?
“Behold, the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to they word.” Slowly, over the course of time, it becomes apparent to Mary that her Son has a destiny. We don’t know much of Jesus’ early life. But at the marriage feast, we see Mary, perhaps coyly, saying to her Son. “They don’t have any wine.” And Jesus’ response to this?
“Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
Mary in turn says: Do whatever He tells you.
An act not of faith, but rather, an act of full knowledge of what Jesus is capable of, what Jesus IS.
It’s a certainty that begins in the room with the Archangel, Gabriel. And it grows. And surely, in the knowledge of the outcome of her son’s lived experience, there is grief, there is anguish; surely Mary cried out to God in much the same way as Jesus did the night of His passion.
Or did she?
Did she know what would happen? Did she have an experience of the infinite that gave her some kind of insight?
Or was it simply the constant, present, warm touch of God’s hand throughout her day, throughout her life?
What happened to Mary in her lifetime is relative to us because it defines the terms of our potential relationship with the Divine. Trust, daily. Pray, daily. Act in accordance with the law of Infinite Love, daily. Listen in silence, daily. Make every action an action done in the presence of the divine. Will there be no sorrow? Will there be no pain? Will there be no anger? Of course there will be. Sin is not what we do in the moments to seek our own pleasure alone: Sin is what we do to avoid sorrow, avoid pain, to act on anger unjustly. These things are what make the road to Hell wide.
Jesus takes the narrow path that leads to Heaven, that leads to our personal serenity and happiness, calm in our minds, quiet in our lives. Mary beacons us now from the gate, inviting us to follow.
Pray the rosary as often as you can. In the silence of your mind, in the rush and tribulation of your daily life, roll the Hail Mary in your mind like bead on a string that runs a light year or more in length.
When you rise in the morning, greet the day by saying these words: “Behold, your servant is awake, Lord. Be it done to me according to Thy will.”