"'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.' Then the angel departed from her."
It was in Fr. James Martin's book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" that I first recognized the most amazing sentence of this chapter in Luke. "Then the angel departed from her." In that one sentence is the Christian journey of faith. Mary hears from the angel that she has won favor with God and this amazing event will take place. How exciting! How challenging and anxiety-producing! And then. Then the angel leaves her with her own faith to navigate it all. When I was a little girl and my favorite movie was "The Wizard of Oz" (who am I kidding, it still is my favorite!) I was frustrated that the Good Witch, Glenda, kept coming and going while Dorothy was in Oz, but why didn't she stay with Dorothy and help her out the whole time? Similarly, I could wonder why the angel couldn't stay visible and present to Mary and help her through the coming ordeal? Mary was given all she needed to cope with it all from God, all through her life and very being. God worked from the inside with Mary, giving her the strength and hope she needed, just as God works with us...from the inside. God gives us all we need so our faith can be manifested through all we do--on the outside. Today, as we pray and ponder with young Mary, let's give our faith-filled "Yes!" to God too, in our own lives. God will give us all we need to do anything...from the inside. Love, heidi