St. Bernard wrote a beautiful homily about Mary’s fiat. It is in today’s Office of Readings. I want to post it for your consideration today. It is my translation from the Italian text used.
“You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that this will happen through the work of the Holy Spirit, not man. The angel waits for your response: he must return to God who sent him. We also are waiting, O Lady, for a word of compassion, we who are miserably oppressed by a sentence of condemnation.
“Behold, you are offered the price of our salvation: if you consent,we will immediately be freed. All of us were created in the eternal Word of God, but now we are subjected to death: through your brief response we must be renewed and recalled to life.
“Adam, in tears, pleads with you, O pious Virgin, he who is an exile from paradise along with his descendents in misery; Abraham and David plead with you; the holy patriarchs, your ancestors, who live in the darkness of death, plead incessantly to you. All the world awaits, prostrate at your knees: from your mouth the consolation of those in misery depends, the redemption of prisoners, the liberation of the condemned, the salvation of all the sons of Abraham, of the whole human race.
“O Virgin, give a quick response. Attentively respond to the angel, for through the angel you respond to the Lord. Give your word and accept the Word: give your human word and conceive the divine Word, express the workd that passes and receive the Word eternal.
“Why do you wait? Why fear? You believe in the work of the Lord, give your assent to it, receive it. In your humility, be bold, in your demurity take courage. In no way now must you, in your virginal simplicity, forget prudence, but in this one thing, O prudent Virgin, do not fear presumption. If in silence is found modesty, now, however, piety to the word is needed. Open, blessed Virgin, your heart of faith, your lips that give assent, your womb to the Creator. Behold, he to whom the desire of all mankind is turned, now knocks at the door. May he not pass by while you hesitate, and you then may have to begin to search for him whom you love once again. Lift yourself us, run, open! Lift yourself in faith, run with devotion, open up with your consent.
“Behold,” you say, “I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me as you have said.”