This past weekend, I was able to attend a Women’s Retreat at Camp Covecrest in Tiger, GA. For those of you who don’t know, Tiger is a little bit on the map of Georgia, a stone’s throw from each of the Carolinas. It’s nestled in the North Georgia mountains in the Chattahoochie National Forest. In short… beautiful. Even if you are a non-believer, the setting itself is enough to make you consider that there might be a God!
The camp is run by LifeTeen, a Catholic youth ministry program started 25 years ago and the theme for 2010 is “Behold the Mystery.” Life is wrought with mystery… things that we can’t explain with simple words and that we have to take at face value and believe. During the retreat, we contemplated the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, the first of which is The Annunciation. As chronicled in The Gospel of Luke:
26Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!” 29But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37For everything spoken by God is possible.” 38Mary said, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.” The angel departed from her.
Our entire salvation rests upon Our Blessed Mother’s fiat. “Fiat” is a latin word that means “let it be done.” Each of the Joyful Mysteries can be countered by a bit of fear. Mary, a virgin, betrothed to Joseph, said “yes” to a mysterious pregnancy that she would surely be questioned about and chastised for. Depending on the severity of the opinions around her… she could have been outcast or even killed. But faced with all of those possible outcomes, she confidently said “yes!” She trusted in the Lord with all of her heart and knew that He would not let any harm come to her as she was carrying out His will.
What has the Lord been asking of you? Have you heard his announcement or has the world kept His voice drowned out? Personally, I find that it’s really hard to hear God in the everyday world and I like to visit Christ in the Blessed Sacrament to really, clearly and truly hear Him.
What’s been my annunciation? Not sure… I don’t know if I’ve received it yet or if I have, if I am stubbornly ignoring it. But I know that the Lord is patient and good and will keep asking until I say “yes.”