After Mary is told by the Angel that God has chosen her to be the Mother of God, she responds by saying: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). This response is an unconditional “yes” to God, and so we should notice the generosity of our Lady. She gives God everything. She does not say, “Yes, I accept, but on this condition,” or “Yes, but.” Instead, she says “yes” without fully knowing what it will cost her. Her love for God is not rationed, and neither should ours be rationed. May God use us without any constraints or limits.
But what are the bodily consequences of Mary’s “yes.” It means that she must endure pregnancy, the hardships that come with being the Mother of God, the difficulties of living in Egypt (Matthew 2:13 ff.), the painful separation from her Son during His public ministry, and the horror of His death on the cross for the salvation of the world. We cannot imagine that this latter suffering was only experienced by our Lady in her soul, for so great was her love for the Lord, that she must have felt in her body the pains of the torture our Lord endured for our salvation. In saying “yes” to God, Mary said “yes” to all this. Yet she said “yes” knowing that God would provide the grace, and He did provide the grace.
The Annunciation and the Mind
As for the mental and emotional consequences of Mary’s “yes,” we can gain great insight into these by reflecting on the Seven Sorrows of Mary (The Seven Sorrows of Mary | Franciscan Media, Jeannette Martino Land, September 2017). Our Lady was always reflecting on the things she experienced in her heart, constantly seeking to understand more fully what God was revealing to her. This is a beautiful example for us: to always reflect on what God is saying to us in each moment.
Affects on the Spirit
As for the spiritual consequences of Mary’s “yes,” we cannot imagine the pain she endured for our sake. But we can know assuredly that the fruit of her “yes” is Jesus Christ, our salvation. Because she said “yes,” we have a Savior. Because she said “yes,” we have a way to heaven (John 14:6). Because she said “yes,” we have unending joy available to us.
So when we say “yes” to God in imitation of our Lady, there will be physical, mental, and spiritual consequences. When we say “yes” to God there will be whole health consequences, in spirit, mind, and body. There will be trials to endure, enemies to conquer, and glory to attain. May God be magnified in us as He was singularly magnified in our Lady.