A good many years ago, a young woman of little significance lived in a small town in Galilee. This town, Nazareth, was one of those small towns where everybody knew everything that was going on. Everyone knew this girl. Everyone knew she was betrothed to a carpenter named Joseph, who was of the House of David.
And this young woman of little significance was very devoted to her responsibilities and her faith. So, when this young woman of little significance was approached by an angel named Gabriel, who greeted her with “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you,” she was worried. But, that angel soothed her worries by telling her that, though she was a woman of little significance in the world, in Heaven, she had been honored before all other women to conceive the Son of God.
Being a young woman who was faithful and devoted, she was concerned, because she had never had any sexual contact with a man. Again, however, the angel consoled her, saying that nothing is impossible through God. Further, he explained that her cousin, Elizabeth, who was declared barren, had conceived a son and was in her sixth month of pregnancy.
Consoled thoroughly, this young woman said “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
This moment, in the Catholic Church, is referred to as Mary’s fiat (which is Latin for “Let there be” or, in this case, “Let it be”). It is the exact moment that Mary accepted her role in God’s Plan, and despite living in a small town, where everyone knew everything about everyone else, she took on something that, to the outside world, would be considered scandalous – pregnancy outside of her marriage to Joseph.
Mary’s fiat is an example of what faith in God can lead to. This girl from Nazareth, who up until this point in her life had nothing to differentiate her from the rest of the women in her town, accepted without question God’s plan for her. In the same way, we, too, must realize that there is a plan, and it will make itself apparent when the time comes. This Christmas season, consider what your plan might be and, more importantly, consider your answer when the plan is revealed to you. Do you have the courage that this girl from Nazareth had to change your life in a heartbeat when you hear the call from God?