"How can this be?" Lk 1:34
Mary's question to the angel is haunting. How can this be? Indeed! We often ask the same question ourselves in any number of situations. How can it be that almost 2 billion people die each year from water born intestinal diseases? How can it be that in a world which produces more than enough food for everyone to eat adequately, almost 1 billion people are hungry? How can it be that a mother of three small children is dying while another woman, desperate for a child, cannot get pregnant?
The questions are endless, and Mary helps us ask them. Though the only answer she received to her question about how she would be pregnant was an assurance that God's love would overshadow her, she seemed satisfied. It is not always so with us.
Today's feast is an answer of sorts to all our questions, but too often the answer is not to our liking or understanding. The basic promise of the new covenant is that God will be with us always, in times of light and darkness, in confusing as well as magnificently clear situations. Nothing more. The more is up to us. God makes us just, but we do not always act in a just manner towards others. God provides us with a world that produces sufficient food for all. It is up to us to distribute it, but even when we fail to live justly and to create just systems that do not demean the poor for being poor, God will not abandon us. While life will not always make sense, God is with us. Is that enough? It was for Mary.
Today, let us say yes to all that is.
What do you do when life seems overwhelming?