Wouldn’t it be nice if an angel just showed up one day and told us what we were supposed to do with our lives? Truth be told, it would probably scare us to death. We’d probably either dismiss it as a dream or run for an MRI to make sure we didn’t have a brain tumor. In addition, we should take note of just how little the angel told her.
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.
She is given none of the details about what is going to happen to her, Joseph, or Jesus. Nor is she told what she is supposed to do.
And yet, she says, “Let it be done unto me according to your word.” “be done”, passive voice.
We don’t care much for the idea of being passive — even less the idea of having things done to us. We want to be active and in control. It’s what makes the concept of obedience so difficult. It’s what makes certain stains of religion attractive, those voices that tell us that each of can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
Today as we celebrate the Annunciation, let each of us take some time to reflect on the place of obedience in our lives.