This past week is always one anticipated by my children come every Lent, it is a little break in their Lenten sacrifice as we celebrate with a favorite dinner and yummy dessert. On Monday, we celebrated the Solemnity of St. Joseph and now we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Two iconic figures in the Church, St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother, two examples of faithfulness to the divine will of God. Two saints who were a central part of the life of Christ, two people who had Christ as the center of their lives.
From the age of a small toddler my daughter’s favorite mystery of the Rosary has always been the Annunciation. No matter if it is a Friday and we are praying the Sorrowful Mysteries or if we are already on the fifth decade, when it is her turn to lead she always chooses the Annunciation for her mystery. In my desire to keep everything precise and accurate, I have to pause from correcting her. In her child-like faith the wonder and awe of the Annunciation continually draws her heart to reflect on it over and over again and it should draw mine to do the same.
Much more than a nice story or image, the Annunciation was a turning point in Salvation History. When all of heaven waited for Mary’s answer, an answer that would change human history forever and bring about the Incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Mary’s fiat, it was an answer she gave with sublime trust, complete faith and surrender to the God who made her. A yes without knowing the future, but said with confidence and hope believing in the love and goodness of God. In turn, she was overshadowed and filled with the Holy Spirit becoming the Mother of God.
Upon hearing Mary’s news, St. Joseph is also asked to trust and surrender to the will of God. We hear in the Gospels, an angel appearing to Joseph on three different occasions. Each time, he gives his own fiat by being obedient and docile to what God is asking of him.
While we hear of these major moments in Scripture, we can only imagine how many more fiats St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother gave in their daily living as the Holy Family. St. Joseph’s yes in his carpenter shop, in providing for Jesus. Mary’s yes in her domestic role, cooking and caring for the Christ child.
We are more than halfway through our Lenten journey, just a few short weeks before we enter into the Sacred Triduum and celebrate Our Savior’s most glorious Resurrection. Perhaps, Lent has been dragging on and has become extremely difficult. Maybe, it has been going by quickly and leaves us wishing for a bit of more time to return to the Lord.
Whatever we decided to let go of, prune and sacrifice during Lent we can turn to St. Joseph and Our Lady for strength. Meditating on their lives we can see and have confidence that when we say yes to God, we allow his plan in our lives to be fulfilled. In giving our own fiat we surrender and allow God to take care of us. May we always prayerfully echo, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)