“For nothing will be impossible for God.” … “Blessed are you who believed…” – Luke 1:37, 45
Yesterday, we read the Annunciation narrative, the dialogue between Mary and the Angel Gabriel. Mary received the good news that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant and would bear a son, even in her old age, because ‘nothing is impossible for God.’ Today, we hear through Elizabeth a confirmation of Mary’s faith, ‘Blessed are you who believed’.
The Catechism expresses the gift of faith in this way:
By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, “the obedience of faith”.
To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.
(CCC 143, 144)
God revealed to Mary what he asked of her, and gave her a sign in her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy. She submitted to God, abandoning herself into his care, and accepting what it would cost her.
This seems to be the way God chooses to use his faithful instruments. To be chosen by God is not to give the individual comfort and self-indulging freedom; on the contrary, it requires a complete abandoning one’s self and one’s dreams in order to be part of something bigger than the self. God’s calling of one to service – as He did to Mary – requires the whole of the person, the heart, the mind, and the whole body to be used as an instrument.
A look at the lives of the saints confirm this abandoning principle in a follower of Jesus. The deeper one rejects their own satisfaction, the more closely they are drawn in to be used by God.
The question for us is, will we have the courage and the heart to let God use us?