In this short passage, the angel Gabriel goes to Mary to foretell the birth of Jesus. Gabriel begins by excitedly telling Mary she is highly favored by the Lord. Instead of rejoicing, Mary is troubled by his words. Instead of hearing the positive greeting from Gabriel, she worries about what this greeting could really mean for her. Instead of accepting his warm welcome, she is fearful. You can almost envision Mary’s anxious face, turned away from this exuberant greeting.
Fortunately, we know how the story goes – Mary is the recipient of God’s most precious gift and has no reason to fear. God has a very special purpose for Mary. This knowledge makes it easy to gloss over the passage thinking, “It is silly for Mary to be afraid!”
But what happens when we don’t know the ending? What happens when this greeting is for us? Do we stand back in trepidation when God calls upon us? Do we miss opportunities to serve Him because we are fearful and our minds are closed?
Be open to hear God’s greeting and rejoice. Whatever He has in store for us is for His purpose. Be unafraid, turn towards God and smile when He calls. Everything is easier to handle with a smile and an opened mind.