[quote=Della]So many centuries after the fact it is easy for us to take for granted Mary’s response to such a fantastic proposal.
Think about it. An archangel in all his glory suddenly appears to a peasant girl of about 13-17 years old. What would most young women that age do? I imagine they’d throw their apron over their heads and run for their lives or scream or drop down in a dead faint. Zachariah certainly was terrified and he was a temple priest!
Mary reacted like a queen, and a gracious queen at that! She controls her fear and answers intelligently. This is the reaction of someone who has a profound prayer life and a heart and mind completely open to God. Can anyone actually think Mary was an afterthought? Someone that God just picked out of the crowd?
Mary’s distant ancestor, Eve, was a great lady, too. But, she let her own desires rule her decision. She closed her heart and mind to God’s clear directive, and she had been created by the hand of God himself. But Mary, many centuries later, living in a humble home of poor parents, who had no prospects above her station in life says, “Be it done unto me according to your word” with all the dignity and aplomb of the princess of Judah that she really was. One who was long experienced in listening to the voice of God and unafraid to face the future he had laid out for her since the dawn of time.
Mary was of the royal house of David, even if a minor branch. According to Tradition, Mary was educated in the Temple. Since one of the effects of sin is to dull the intellect, I imagine Mary must have been the most intelligent person in the world.
All Israel was anticipating the imminent birth of the long-awaited Messiah. They also had a firmer belief in angels as God’s messengers than many people today. She may have got a shock at the first appearance of Gabriel, but I bet she was quick to recover.