The First Joyful Mystery



This is my first time writing for Blessed is She, and I was not at all prepared to reflect on such an intense reading.

The Annunciation. It’s one of the Mysteries of the Rosary. Words from this event pepper our prayers. Renditions of the angel appearing to the Virgin inspire our paintings. It is the fulfillment of myriad Old Testament prophesies and one of the most profoundly important moments in our Christian history.

I mean, couldn’t I just have one of the dinkier readings?

Maybe just an ordinary “. . . and Peter was being kind of stupid as usual and Jesus said unto His apostles . . . .” One of those? I’m pretty sure it was assigned randomly, so I had no one to blame but God. I was like: “God, you’ve read my blog, right? I don’t do gravitas.”

But I forged ahead with Mary’s “Yes” resounding in my ears, and as I read, I kept returning to this moment:

And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.

Saint Luke makes sure to communicate what Mary is thinking: Mary “considered in her mind.”

I wanted to understand more about our Blessed Mother’s thoughtfulness, so I cracked my ex-Protestant knuckles, and looked up the Greek. The word Luke uses when Mary “considers in her mind,” is a word that implies confusion, reasoning, debate. She is “greatly troubled” and asks the angel: “How can this be?”

But after the angel’s explanation, there’s no indication that Mary understands, she simply accepts. There is no: “And, behold, it finally made sense to her.”

This is her faith. She seeks to understand, and she accepts despite her confusion.

Her canticle comes, but it comes later. It’s nine verses before she’s rejoicing about this gig.

I don’t know how God is crashing into your life and forcing you out of your comfort zone and asking seemingly (or literally?) impossible things of you. Maybe it’s something huge, or maybe it is in the simple request to read another book to your tireless toddler or listen patiently to that obnoxious coworker or write on a topic that intimidates you, but know that our faith was born out of just such obedience. 

Kate Rhodes is the wife of a lanky carpenter and mother to two littles. She used to teach English, but then she joined the ranks of SAHMs. You can find out more about her here.

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