The Gospel tells us that Mary found the angel’s greeting “troubling.” And why not? But Mary’s response amid her fears and doubts — Mary’s fiat — vindicates the angel’s greeting, that she is “full of grace.” Mary doesn’t negotiate. She doesn’t ask for a prematernal contract, unlike today’s couples with their “prenuptial agreements.” Mary doesn’t have an exit strategy. Mary doesn’t “keep her options open.” In fear and trembling, but with confidence in God’s saving purposes, she gives the answer: fiat. Let it be. I am the Lord’s servant and the Lord will provide.
"Keeping your options open" is not the path to happiness, wholeness — or holiness. That’s an important Marian insight from the New Testament for every generation, but perhaps especially for yours.
We’ve all heard, time and again, that yours is a generation “not ready to commit.” Is that because yours is a generation short on trust? If so, it’s not hard to understand why. You’ve seen the wreckage caused by the sexual revolution and its dissolution of trust between men and women, both within marriage and outside of it. You’ve seen public officials betray their oath of office, and priests and bishops betray the vows they swore to Christ and the Church at ordination. You’ve seen teachers and professors betray the truth because of expediency, cowardice, or an addiction to political correctness. If yours is a generation that finds it hard to trust and thus hard to “commit,” that’s understandable.
But not persuasive.
[John Paul II] learned to trust, not in “options” or “exit strategies,” but in the mother who always points us toward her son, toward the Christ who never fails in his promises.
That’s why the inclusion of the wedding feast at Cana in the new Luminous Mysteries of the rosary is another invitation to think and pray about your vocation — a unique something that only you can do in the providence of God. That, too, can be a disturbing thought — until we recognize that that same providence will, mercifully, repair and make straight whatever false steps we take in living out our vocational commitments.
"Do whatever he tells you.” That is Mary’s message to us, as well as to the servants at the wedding feast in Cana. “Do whatever he tells you” is Mary’s gentle invitation to make her fiat your own. Don’t look for an “exit strategy.” Live in trust, not in calculation; stake everything on Christ.
In his embrace, to which Mary points us, you’ll find the path to happiness, wholeness, and holiness that you will never find by keeping your options open.