"Then the angel departed from her."
After I read Fr. James Martin's book "Jesus-A Pilgrimage," this is the line from the Annunciation story that leaps off the page for me. Mary had this wonderful, yet daunting, encounter with the angel who foretold that she would conceive and bear a son, Jesus. Mary asks how this can happen, and so forth. And just after she agrees and says "Yes," the angel leaves her. The angel leaves her with her faith in God, her family and friends to deal with it all. Just because the angel leaves, though, doesn't mean God left Mary. Not at all! God had created a supportive environment for Mary--God was working through the people who surrounded her, just as God does for us. Mary had her family, her cousin Elizabeth, and dear Joseph, who, himself, had an encounter with the angel. Mary's Yes was the starting point that set the plan in motion, but God had set the stage and placed the players already. Mary, a fourteen year old young woman, said, "Let it be done to me according to your word" and started the plan--the salvation of the world. Wow! Only the God of surprises could have come up with that! Let's celebrate the Annunciation by saying our own "Yes!" to God today! God has set the stage in our lives, too, to give us the people and resources we need to love and serve the people of God. Yes, God! I will welcome you working through me to help the world today! Love, heidi