Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
(Isaiah 7:10-14.8:10; Hebrews 10:4-11; Luke 1:26-38)
In the novel All We Know of Heaven, author Rémy Rougeau, O.S.B., describes how a monk (possibly himself) receives his vocation. It happens literally by a star falling from heaven. Observing the night sky, a boy sees a shooting star land near his home. He is what we might call “a good boy,” but not remarkably more devout than others. When he goes to investigate, the lad finds the fallen meteor. Thinking over its significance, he concludes that the meteor is a sign from God telling him that he has a vocation. A number of years later, he joins a Cistercian monastery.
Luke’s gospel today tells a similar story. Mary has a religious experience. She is devout although the extent of her sanctity is perhaps not evident. An angel tells Mary of her special vocation to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Like the boy pondering the significance of the meteor, Mary questions whether the angel really intends the message for her. After all, she is not married. When the angel assures her that God will provide whatever she lacks, Mary does not hesitate to accept.
We have all probably had an experience that we would call “religious.” Perhaps it was a dream or a conversation with a special person. We probably don’t consider ourselves better than any other person, yet God seems to have shown us His special favor. Like Mary and like the monk in Rémy Rougeau’s novel, let us not fail to ponder what God wants us to do.