Thought for the Day from Katharine Salmon of St Chad’s:
This Gospel from Luke is one that is very familiar to us. It is the story of Mary’s Annunciation when the angel appeared to her and revealed to her that she would conceive and bear a Son. Ask yourself: how do you think Mary reacted emotionally to the angel’s appearance and to the angel’s words that Mary would have a child, even though she had not “been” with a man?
Luke says that Mary was extremely troubled at the angel’s news. She must have had many questions and concerns: What did all this mean? How was this to come about? What would she tell Joseph? This tale was too fantastic for him to believe! Would he believe her or reject her? Yet somehow in the midst of her turmoil, Mary was able to trust God. And she freely consented to what God was asking of her.
Mary had to have a deeply personal relationship with God. And it was this relationship that enabled her to trust and say “yes” to what God was asking her to do. Mary from a young age must have trusted God in all things. And thus, she would trust God even in this frightening situation. Yet, how was she to explain her situation to Joseph? Yet, she had to share this fantastic experience with him. How would he react? Would he be angry or humiliated? Would he spurn her? Or would he draw his own conclusions and believe that Mary had “been” with another man? Imagine the storm of emotions that this young Mary must have experienced! It could have been a situation in which she felt the judgment of her community and she perhaps experienced a time of isolation akin to what we are living now.
At times, Jesus (and life) also presents us with difficult or painful situations that may stir up a storm of emotion in us. How do we respond? Do we get angry, fearful or anxious? Do we distance ourselves from God? Do we gradually come to believe that God is with us? Do we trust that God will guide and grace us?
We have a wonderful model in Mary. Like Mary, we need to keep ourselves grounded in the God we know, trust and love. If we do this, then we may believe and trust that we will receive the grace and strength we need. This will bring us peace. God will bring us peace! Maybe today you can find some aspect of nature that brings you peace and keeps you grounded in God’s love, ever-present despite this strange “new” reality we are living.