Reflection: Gabriel told Mary that the Lord is with her. His words unsettled her, and wouldn’t they you? What in the world did he mean by them? Did Gabriel enjoy the surprise on her face, the shock, and then the worry? She knows there is meaning deep beneath his words; after all, angels don’t show up everyday in Galilee. Reading her thoughts, Gabriel tells her not to be afraid, before telling her something truly terrifying. And then, as if mirroring the news he gave Zechariah months before, Gabriel tells Mary the news almost too wonderful, too terrifying to comprehend, which is that all of God’s promises lead to the one whom Mary will bear and birth. The Deliverer of God’s people will first be delivered. The one whose flesh will be pierced for us will first take on flesh, cell by cell – such small flesh – in his mother’s womb.
We delight in the fulfilment of God’s promises, but do we delight in his ways? His ways are surprising. The Lord keeps his word but in ways that we don’t anticipate, upsetting our expectations, overturning our biases, unlocking our rigid hearts and minds.
Prayer: Lord, unlock and open my heart, reign in me.