While barren elderly Elizabeth turned up pregnant, young virgin Mary was getting a visit from the angel Gabriel. He told her that she had found favor with God and reminded her, as he had Zechariah to “fear not.” Then he broke the news: Mary, you’re going to conceive a son. Not just any son, but a son who would rescue his people.
Mary believed him; no cone of silence was needed.
However, the assignment was not all glitter and gold.
Mary was engaged to Joseph, and getting pregnant was quite the scandal. Eventually they needed to flee in order to avoid the wrath of Herod.
Here’s the thing about knowing and doing the will of God.
It doesn’t come with an invisibility cloak or a light saber. The called don’t receive a detailed set of instructions or an immunity card from suffering. Mary was very confused about all this, how could she, a virgin, end up pregnant?
Mary was given a gift to assist her in standing strong during this tumultuous and privileged journey. She traveled to see old, barren Elizabeth. Six months pregnant herself, Elizabeth served as another sign that God is in the business of miracles.
And Mary accepted the situation, saying to Gabriel, “May it be done to me as you have said.”
That’s a beautiful prayer, is it not?
How can we, today, agree with Mary? What habits would we form? What decisions would we make? What uncertainty would we be willing to live with? What sacrifices would we be willing to endure?