Today’s gospel is one of those where the angel Gabriel comes to Mary:
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.
I have to admit that I’ve had this reaction — someone greets me with a smile and a message that is sooooo positive. And my first reaction is one of suspicion. What does she want from me? Anyone/anything that happy to see me must want to eat me for dinner. The list goes on from there, but you get the idea.
And so, I look to Mary for the followup. She hears the rest of the story and ponders it a bit. And then she simply asks – “How can this be?” That is where I fall short, it seems. I hold my questions and suspicions close and don’t reveal my hand most of the time. I can only ask for Mary’s simple courage as she wonders aloud “How?” She doesn’t try to sidestep the issue, she doesn’t play at false humility — she just goes with it.
It seems I must accept that the questioning is essential, but so is the acceptance.