by Andrew Mabee
Even though I've read the account of the Annunciation many times, I found that it is one thing to pray with it (allowing the Lord to take you to the scene vis-a-vi your imagination) and a whole other story to actually kneel before the very place it happened. Across the globe over 2000 years ago, in a humble and rather unknown town, the angel Gabriel appeared to a teenage girl to usher in the salvation of the whole world. Salvation history indeed rested upon her answer. As I sat staring at the place where she said "Yes", asking the Father to do whatever He wants with me, what kept coming to mind was the fact that all of my many sins, all that has ever entangled me, trapped me, harassed me, held me bound, has been washed away thanks to the response a rather unknown teenage girl gave to God Almighty in a small town called Nazareth. God could have come down from the Heavens with great visible power to a prestigious place, winning man by His clear strength and success. He could have come to save man a hundred different ways- indeed anyway He wanted to- but He didn't! Rather, He came in humility, taking the form of slave.
The love of God: it is so humble, so tender, so strong, so pure, so great, so unfathomable, so mighty, so real, so beyond our comprehension, so relentless, so personal, that it is the only cure for all that ails us! His love is so far beyond a catchy slogan, a Facebook post, or a hashtag, precisely because it is not just a notion or an idea, but a person, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh! One of the great gifts of this pilgrimage has been the reality of being totally able and free to press into the Lord Jesus, to seek Him, to come after Him! Yet even with the greatest of intentions and resolve, it can sometimes be hard to even know how to begin. It is the Queen of Heaven, Immaculate Mary, a refuge for sinners, who, in her maternal love, delights in taking you and I back to the one whom we long for. Our Blessed Mother is the faithful one who leads us in the way of allowing ourselves to be found by Him again: the way of humble surrender!
Andrew MabeeAndrew Mabee is a second-year theologian studying for the Archdiocese of Detroit.