"Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you." Lk 1:28
The annunciation has been painted and and sculpted almost as often as the Pieta and with good reason. The annunciation thrills us. Mary's shyness, questions and reluctance to welcome the angel help us believe in her and in ourselves, especially when we are anxious, fearful and resistive.
Andrea Del Sarto (1526) paints Gabriel as a pleading angel, not someone especially sure of his role, but determined to complete his mission. One wonders if the artist, aware of the reformation exploding in Germany, was challenging the church to its own reformation. Mary, looking anxious and confused, but ready to say Yes, challenges the church then and now to change for the sake of God's dream for the world.
Today, say yes with Mary to anything God asks. Don't ask questions.
What has been the most difficult request God has made of you?