She Did Not Say,”NO!”

True Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. That is, that the One True God is the Father and that Mary, a human woman, is the mother. Meditating on the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she is to become the Mother of God, I thought about many of the things that may have crossed Mary’s mind from the time that the angel appeared until the time that he left.

Mary was quite young, but old enough to be engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. She was about thirteen or so. Mary was a pious Jewess who knew the history of her people as well as the religious laws and rituals practiced by that monotheistic religion. She knew that her people, the Israelites, were waiting for the Messiah to come. He was to lead them to freedom from servitude and from religious persecution.

First of all, Mary was shocked to see a man suddenly appear in a room where she was alone. Her heart must have been pounding as she thought, “What the …”. Right away the angel tells her not to be afraid – like that was going to be any help. However, Mary was the offspring of ancestors like the Queen of Sheba, Ruth, Ester and Judith. She didn’t panic, scream, fall weeping to her knees or faint. Mary stood her ground and listened to what the angel had to say. When Gabriel tells her that she is to be the mother of the Messiah, she may have been thinking, “Do I need this job? This is not what I had planned for my life. There are so many more qualified candidates. Why me?” But, Mary asks, “How is this going to happen? I know not man”. Then the angel comes up with this absolutely weird explanation about power overshadowing her, etc. Maybe Mary remembers other unbelievable things that happened in the history of the Israelites, like the ten plagues of Egypt or the parting of the sea. Better, she remembers the Israelite women one of whom slept with the enemy and another who cut off the head of a king to save their people. What is having a baby? Women do it all the time. OK. So, maybe they will try to stone her to death. That is the ritual punishment. But, if she was to be the mother of the Messiah, God would see that no harm would come to her – at least until her Son was grown enough to take care of Himself. So, she takes a deep breath and says that she will do it. At that moment, Mary must have been flooded with peace and joy because as soon as the angel leaves, she sings a beautiful psalm to the Father of her Son. Mary was a woman who had great love for her people and great love and faith in her God.

The above is not intended to be a theological discourse. It is just a bit of a meditation by a woman who is glad that Mary did not say, “NO.”

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