Be Partners With God | Wisdom Wednesday
Today we celebrate Mary's great YES to God at the Annunciation - bringing about the Incarnation of our Lord.
In contrast to this Yes, we hear about Ahaz's 'no' in the Old Testament. The Lord invites Ahaz to ask Him for a sign, and like Mary, Ahaz is inititally troubled. Unlike Mary, though, Ahaz says no. Ahaz thinks he knows God better than God knows Himself. Ahaz turns down partnership with God, and God decides to offer partnership to someone else.
Mary's Yes wasn't immediate. In Fr Charles Connolly's homily at today's Mass, he focused on an often forgotten detail from today's Gospel: she was greatly troubled at what was said. After Gabriel explains to Mary what God is proposing to her, Mary responds with doubt, and even argues with Gabriel: How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? After further explanation, Mary consents to Gabriel's announcement.
We can see from Mary's experience that she engaged in conversation with God. She brought her own personality - her own person - to the table, complete with doubt and worry. The story as we hear it in the Gospel today is not an unrealistic one in which our heroine unthinkingly accepts the shocking news she hears. It's a human story with a totally human response - confusion and doubt, and then trust and faith. Mary's Yes is all the more instrumental because it involved real discernment, real trust, and real conversation with God. She became partners with God at His invitation, and therefore a crucial part of salvation history.
God wants to work with us. He doesn't want to do battle with us, and He doesn't want to move us around like chess pieces. God wants an intimacy with us such that we live in harmony with Him - participating in his creation and saving work, doing what is pleasing to Him because we love him, not because He commands it, and thoughtfully doing what He asks of us. In all of this, we can be human, as He made us. We can be confused, doubtful, and full of questions. All God seems to want is partners with open hearts.