“And Mary said, ‘Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38).
The Blessed Virgin Mary is unparalleled as a model of possibility. She is the saint who turned her life, her being, her body, everything that she was and had and would ever be, over totally to God, whose purpose was fulfilled through her as never before or since. She became, literally, full of God, pregnant with God’s presence. And so it is that The Blessed Mary is known to us as friend, intercessor, and bearer of possibility. “Let it be unto me according to your word.” She cared only to turn her self and her body over to God.
Being unmarried and pregnant could not have been a pleasant experience for Mary, despite the honor bestowed upon her by God. She leaves Nazareth to visit her relative, Elizabeth, also pregnant, to receive support and affirmation. We see the humility of Mary in her acquiescence in Gabriel’s message that she would bear the child; we now see her humility in accepting her vulnerability and turning to Elizabeth for support.
This quality of humility is the power that allowed Mary to be part of God’s transformation of our world. We tend to see humility as weakness; we must learn to see it as strength.
St. Mary is one person who surrendered all vestiges of control over her life, reserved nothing for herself. If her Son emptied himself and took the form of a servant, Mary, as the Mother-of-God, allowed herself to be filled entirely with the presence and power of God, who overwhelmed her, transformed her, and created a new and unique possibility with her and through her.
This is a day on which we give thanks for the Virgin Mary and the path she points for us. Should we dare, we are offered the opportunity to follow her, knowing that if we do, and if we allow our lives to be filled with the possibilities God offers, we will surrender all control and be changed forever and forever more.