FROM THE ARTIST
Mary’s Golden Annunciation explores the moment of encounter between Mary and the angelic messenger. This unusual encounter may have been startling to young Mary—a soon-to-be teen bride turned, possibly, unwed mother. Yet, with holy bravery in the face of communal isolation, she accepts the call to be a surrogate mother to a son who is to be the savior of her people and the son of God.
There is not much commentary regarding Mary’s consent to motherhood. She is often portrayed as a humble, yet passive, “accepter” of a fate predestined for her. But I wonder, what if the angel had appeared to Mary and she had declined? Would her name be erased from historic and religious memory in favor of another willing young virgin?
Mary’s Golden Annunciation depicts not only a remarkable encounter, but also the moment that divinity in human form was conceived. It is my speculation that the divinity of God entered Mary’s body no sooner than Mary’s “yes” went out from her mouth. In a time when women had few options other than marriage, Mary’s consent to a potentially unwed motherhood is a brave act of subversive agency. In Mary’s “yes,” uttered in her Magnificat, we see the transformation of a young teenage girl from fearful to determined, from simply accepting to deciding, from passivity to agency, from betrothed to surrogate mother of God—an honor rarer than gold. Perhaps the most remarkable annunciation in this passage is not the messenger’s revelation to Mary, but Mary’s “yes” to the call.
Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image on the left. Imagine placing yourself in this scene. What do you see? How do you feel?Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.