Confession time. I’ve always felt like I was missing something important in today’s Gospel. As a white, middle-class American male of the 21st century, I have trouble grasping what Mary was feeling when she heard the angel’s words.

I can relate to the human struggle. Like Mary, I must face realities that I might rather not accept. So what may I learn as I watch Mary respond to God? How does her response, “Let it be to me according to your word,” inform my response? Is Mary’s “let it be” just passive acceptance of her fate or is something lost in translation? Thankfully, I discovered that the Greek phrase “let it be” denotes more than passive acceptance; it carries also the desire to fulfill God’s will. In today’s vernacular, a modern-day Mary might say “Bring it on!”

So how do I face the day? Will I choose to stand with Mary and say, “Bring it on!”?

—Howard Craig serves as Provincial Assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Province Jesuits.


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