Mary's Fiat and My Fear

March 25, 2021   Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Lectionary: 545)

Reading I   Is 7:10-14; 8:10
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Psalm   40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading II   Heb 10:4-10
Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Verse Before the Gospel   Jn 1:14ab
The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us;
and we saw his glory.

Gospel   Lk 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
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.

By Delaney Rayner 

Even though Mary had questions, she did not distrust the Lord.

I have heard this story dozens of times, but I have never failed to be amazed by Mary’s confidence in and abandonment of her own plan to God. These are two things that I can definitely improve on. In fact, every virtue that I lack I can look to Mary as an example: humility, gentleness, obedience, faithfulness, patience, and many more graces she embodied throughout her life.

But the two of the most prominent virtues present at my favorite Marian feast are trust and surrender.

With Mary’s “fiat,” her “let it be,” (Luke 1:38) she echoes God at creation when He said “fiat lux,” meaning “let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3). With an open heart and a surrender to the will of God, Mary welcomed a new light into her heart and into the world, the light that we so desperately need.

While she gives God her “yes” and totally abandons herself and her life to the Lord, I find consolation in the fact that the Mother of God still had questions.

However, despite not understanding everything, she still trusted that the Lord was going to sustain her. Her life turned upside down in seconds, but she was confident that He was not going to let her down.

I am nowhere close to Mary’s situation. The Lord hasn’t asked me to surrender all my plans to bring the Son of God into the world. He hasn’t invited me to trust that He will give me the grace to raise the Savior. He doesn't request perfection from me.

However, as I go through this season’s trials, I can reflect Our Lady by choosing to trust deeply that the Lord is with me. I can surrender to Him my pain, suffering, and anxiety.

For me this looks like talking with friends who remind me of the Lord’s faithfulness and leaning into my community.

Sometimes it’s reluctantly asking for help when I need it, refusing to hold myself to an unrealistic standard of independence and perfection.

More recently it has been sadly letting some activities go in order to refocus my priorities and decrease my mental strain.

But most importantly, my trust and surrender consist of intentional daily prayer, despite not always “feeling” the Lord’s presence. In the Word, and simply in His gaze of love, there is ease in trusting and surrendering. This is my imitation of Mary.

Mary encourages me to believe that He has carried me this far; He will not fail me now.


Delaney Rayner is a Texas native currently a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is studying Communication Arts and Theology with the hope of fulfilling God’s call for her at the intersection of media and ministry. Delaney can be found crafting Pinterest DIYs, belting Taylor Swift’s “folklore” in her car, or reading the work of St. JPII in her travel hammock. Whatever she finds beautiful, she photographs - mostly her friends and sunsets. Her constant pursuit is a life fully alive.

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