This year we celebrate the Annunciation on Saturday, which is fitting to have the weekday ordinarily devoted to the Blessed Mother also be the date when we mark the visit by Gabriel to her in Nazareth to announce that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. Years ago, Father John A. Hardon, S.J. explained that “Hail Mary” shouldn’t be equated to a simple, “Hello Mary”. In his opinion it would be more accurate to say, “Rejoice!” or “Be happy!” as it meant the Messiah was not just coming but he was becoming Man: the salvation of mankind was here.
For Handmaids, this is a day that summarizes our vocation, and that indeed of anyone desiring true and lasting happiness in this life and in the next, when we think of Mary’s response to the news Gabriel announced, “Fiat!” Let it be done according to your word. Living this out is indeed joyful.