The Annunciation: our model of faith, trust, and courage
Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
Faith, trust, and courage- three attributes that are praiseworthy, yet hard to practice in our daily lives. Have you ever seen an action movie where the superhero saves a civilian that is falling from a three-story building? How about a movie that centers around the main character making a bold decision to follow his or her dreams when the odds are low? Or, how about the classic example- a young man or woman quits his or her job and flies halfway across the country to reunite with the love of their life, and they lived happily ever after. These are all instances that require faith, trust, and courage in oneself, one’s abilities, and in others. While the three examples I shared with you may seem bold and noteworthy, there is one woman who embodies the true meanings of faith, trust, and courage, and goes above and beyond all three of these categories. This woman is not only the perfect example of a courageous and faithful individual but models the many attributes we aspire to achieve in our own lives.
This remarkable woman is our Blessed Mother Mary. You may have heard the story a million times- the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that she is to become the mother of God and bear Jesus in her womb. This is a story that many of us have been told since we were little kids, but have we actually taken the time to truly unpack the beauty of this event? Let’s take a closer look at this event, known as the Annunciation, and the tremendous role that Mary played.
Mary was twelve or thirteen when the angel appeared to her. Imagine being that young and finding out that you were chosen to bear the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in your womb. I don’t know about you, but when I was that age, I had other things on my mind. What tremendous faith and trust Mary models when she says in reply to the angel: Luke 1:38- “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Here, Mary is not only abandoning herself to the will of God, but she is also placing her full trust in his plan, although it probably seemed absurd and confusing to her. This is true faith: trusting in God even when you cannot see the outcome or future, and Mary humbly accepts her calling as a servant of the Lord. Are you also willing to accept the will of God and embrace all that is in store for your life?
On top of faith and trust, Mary demonstrates exemplary attributes of courage. In Luke 1:31, the angel says to her, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” Confused, Mary replies in Luke 1:34-35- “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” In biblical times, a woman was stoned to death if she committed adultery or was suspected of doing so. So, imagine how nerve-wracking this situation was for Mary, who was suddenly about to bear a child in her womb. Her case could have surely been grounds for stoning, as it would appear as if she had committed an adulterous act. Yet, she boldly demonstrates courage by accepting her role as the mother of Christ, regardless of the life-threatening consequences that could result from this choice.
Modeling faith, trust, and courage in the Lord and his plan, Mary is the perfect example of an individual whom we should strive to be like. May we look to Mary in times of distress, hopelessness, and confusion, and may her life inspire you to lean towards Christ, even when all seems to go wrong. No matter the situation at hand, abandon yourself into the arms of Christ, and allow his love to direct your path. Junior Tyler Snook comments, “As St. Therese of Lisieux said, Mary is more mother than queen. How great a gift it is that she is our mother. She is our advocate and guide to her son, and in her heart is nothing but tenderness and ultimate concern for every little thing in your life.”
The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25. May we each spend some time reflecting on faith, trust, courage, and our wonderful role model who intercedes for us.