Fiat. Such a simple word at first glance, but it holds within it multitudes. This isn't blind faith on Mary's part. When she sees the Archangel descend and he gives her the news of the conception of the Christ Child, he says to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." And Mary is not afraid. She is confused, but when she is told that, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God," Her answer is simple but powerful. "Be it done unto me according to thy word." Fiat. A one-word answer. An affirmation not only of her own participation in this Holy Mystery but also of her incredible faith. She is aware that this revelation is life-changing, is aware of the deep importance and responsibility that comes with the raising of the Christ child. But with unwavering faith and trust in God, she answers with her Fiat, the biggest gift that one can give to God.
And Mary continually gave her Fiat to God all throughout her life. When she was told of the seven swords of sorrow that would pierce her heart, she did not give up out of fear, but rather, she gave that fear to God, trusting in his Word, trusting in the Angel who told her "do not be afraid." We too are called to give our Fiats to God. We are called to trust in His word, trust in His love, and trust that He has a plan, even when we don't know what it is, even when things seem uncertain. We live in a world of uncertainty, a world where God's hand in things seems to be non-existent some days. But we are called to the same faith Mary had. It is our job to trust in God and His will and grace, to consistently give Him our Fiats, and believe that everything that happens is part of God's larger plan for us and for the world. We don't have an Angel to come and tell us what is going to happen, and that's okay. We aren't called to that level of knowledge, but that doesn't mean we are to have any less faith, as hard as it can be to have at times. On this feast of the Annunciation, may we ask Our Blessed Mother for the grace to give God our worries and fears as well as our Fiats, so that we may live a life in accord with our Faith and be ready for whatever obstacles come our way, comforted by the knowledge that we do not need to be afraid. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen.