Words are powerful. . .
I am innocent.
I love you.
Someone call 911.
I will never leave you.
Yes, words are powerful. They matter. And perhaps there are no words quite as powerful as the ones we just heard Mary say:
“may it be done to me according to your word.”
Those words almost always give me a chill when I read in the Gospel – maybe it’s because a big part of me wishes I could say them – wishes that I could tell God that I will do whatever he asks of me – no matter what. God, I wish I could pray: may it be done to me according to your word. Small words that mean so much!
And yet, it’s not the words Mary spoke that really mattered. The words were simply a reflection of what was taking place in Mary’s heart.
For Mary these were not empty words – words that sounded good, but meant little. Rather the words were simply an expression of a heart filled with love and openness and humility as well as faith and trust – that is GRACE – God’s very life alive and well in the person of Mary.
This is what we celebrate today – on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – we celebrate and give thanks to God for the grace God poured into the life of Mary from the moment of her conception – a grace not “earned” by Mary – but one given as pure gift from and through God.
God had something special in store for Mary, a particular role for her in salvation history. Mary would be asked to participate in something unbelievably remarkable – and God made sure that Mary would have what it would take to say “yes” to what God was asking.
May it be done to me. Not just words to Mary – but the living reality of what was taking place within her heart and mind and soul – that is, her very being. And we give God the glory God deserves, but we also thank God for Mary – a woman of no particular importance other than her faithfulness helped change the world.
What a generous God we have – and what a mother we have in Mary!
But can we say the same? Can we say that the words we speak in prayer in this holy place and in the quiet of our hearts are more than just words?? Do they reflect what is truly taking place within us? Do they just “sound good” or do they mean more than that??
God had something wonderful in store for Mary. And God has something wonderful in store for each one of us also. But words aren’t enough. May we have the faith and courage to say “may it be done to me” every day of our lives – and mean every word we say.
God will make sure we have what it takes, have the grace to carry out whatever God is asking of us. Of that we can be assured.
And we might just change the world – or at least rock it a little. . .
Mary, the Immaculate Conception – pray for us!