How Can This Be?

In considering the dialogue of the Annunciation, the third piece is uttered from Mary, and is in response to the announcement that the angel has made to her.

How can this be since I have no husband?

There are a plethora of things that I could write, but I want to focus on two. The first is a brief challenge to those Christians who hold that Mary was not ever-Virgin and use Scriptures that speak of the brothers and sisters of Christ as proof of this.

Please explain this strange response of Mary’s. Scripture clearly states that Mary was betrothed to Joseph prior to the Annunciation. In light of this reality, is it not reasonable to believe that Mary would assume that this would come to be with her husband-to-be when they are married? Yes, which is what makes Mary’s response unbelievable, unless she had prior taken a vow of virginity and intended to keep it even in marriage. It would be great to have a robust discussion on this assertion in the comments of this post.

The second thing I wanted to focus on briefly is faith in doubt. It is okay to ask questions of God’s plan. It is okay to express some degree of something like skepticism (but not) when God reveals to you the incredible and amazing plans he has for your life and your soul to bring yourself and others closer to his heart. Look to Mary for an example in this. The angel of God told her something incredible, which to her human mind would be impossible considering the circumstances of her life. She questioned the angel’s message. The response was probably less than satisfactory to Mary’s faculties of reason, yet in her faith and trust in God she accepted a mysterious answer to her questions of a mysterious message and in faith wholly put her trust in God.

When God tells us what he wants from us and it seems impossible, do not be afraid to ask for more details, but don’t let the answers, whatever they may be, diminish your faith in Jesus Christ.

O Humble Mary, Handmaiden of God, pray for us, the beloved of God, that we would accept the message that God imparts to our hearts this Lenten season.