Consider the predicament of a young woman, excited at the prospect of her upcoming marriage, looking forward to creating a home of her own, when suddenly all her plans, all her expectations are shattered.
When Luke's Gospel reports the Annunciation of Jesus' birth to Mary, we proclaim her blessed and "favored." But Mary may not have felt "blessed" or "favored." She had to accept first that all her life plans were about to be changed forever. She would bear a child, under truly unusual circumstances, and be transformed by that process in ways she could not ever imagine. Surely her relationship with Joseph was also now altered for all time. How would he react to her news? What could he say?
But despite the tumult that welled up inside her heart, Mary's response to the angel Gabriel's message is straightforward: "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."
In these words, Mary discovered the "secret" of living. It is giving! Mary offered up herself, all of her, to God's mysterious will and way.