Today's feast day holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. Not only is it one of my favorite Marian feasts, but four years ago today Bradley asked me to be his girlfriend! I made a pizza, we prayed a rosary together and then watched the Sound of Music (he knew even then how to love me best).
Since I've discovered I'm expecting a little boy, my devotion to the Blessed Mother has only grown stronger. I feel like I can pray with a new understanding of how Our Lady must have felt during those 9 months of waiting for her son and her Savior to enter into the world.
Reflecting on today's feast, I flash back to when I found out I was expecting a baby and I experience the array of emotions all over again. I was excited, scared, nervous, and filled with overwhelming JOY. I also questioned a lot if I could actually do this and I told God I SURE hoped He knew what He was doing (side note: of course He does because, duh, He's God and His plan is way better than anything I could ever decide for myself). Our Lady probably felt a lot of those emotions as well (Luke 1:30) , but instead of questioning, she humbly responded with her heartfelt fiat in Luke 1:38 - “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
When I am too scared to say yes to God, I ask Our Lady if she will lend me her yes so that I may have the courage to do what is asked of me. Her simple "yes" changed the world, and if I freely give my own yes to Christ, who knows what He will do through me.
Today also serves as a beautiful reminder that my job to bring this soul to heaven begins now. A priest recently told me that Mary acted as the world's first missionary when she was carrying our Lord because she brought Him physically to everyone she met. Expectant mothers have a beautiful call to bring their children to Christ as a child grows in her womb -- to daily prayer, to Adoration, and to mass so that they can physically receive the gift of Christ in the Eucharist.
Catechizing our children begins in the womb, not after.
So on this feast of the Annunciation, let's rejoice that Our Lord has come! Let's pray for all expectant mothers that they may have the courage to say "yes" to God's plan for them. Praise God for the gift that is life!
“The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it” - Theology of the Body, St. John Paul the Great.