Fiat – Let it be Done to Me!
It is time to clear our heads and take a little quiz. If I asked you what is a Fiat, what would you say? Many of us would say, it is a car! Yes, you are correct. Fiat is an Italian made car which many of us have either seen or heard about. Now, if I asked you in the scriptural sense, what is a “fiat” what would you think or even say? “Fiat” is a Latin word that in English means “let it be done to me”.
God has always spoken with the men and women whom he created. He revealed himself to Adam and Eve so that they might know Him and enjoy fellowship with Him. Their fall shows how sin separates us from God. Even though our first parents were disobedient, God did not stop speaking to his faithful and allow his plan for creation to be abandoned. God spoke his words of promise to reverse the consequences of sin and ensured that the offspring of a woman (Mary) would defeat Satan (Gn 3:15).
After the fall of Adam and Eve, civilization longed for and anticipated a savior. As indicated, God continued to speak to his chosen people through the patriarchs and prophets of Israel. God repeatedly renewed his promise for a savior. That promise for a savior is finally at hand. God enters into a conversation with Mary of Nazareth through the Archangel Gabriel.
God singles out a young Jewish woman, Mary – who was born without original sin. Gabriel’s words to her are, “Hail, full of grace the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). Through Gabriel, God makes a momentous request of her, to bear the “Son of the Most High” (Lk1:31-32). Mary’s question, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” (Lk 1:34), is a way of Mary expressing a willingness to grasp something holy and mysterious. Gabriel offers Mary no physiological explanation because Jesus is to be conceived in a way that surpasses nature, the Incarnation. Through the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary, overshadows her, where she conceives a child, to be born who will be called Holy, the Son of God. This was God’s plan that his creation would not be abandoned. It was now up to Mary to freely accept God’s request.
In those few moments, Mary’s very future is being unveiled for her. God has asked her to be the mother of Israel’s Messiah! Mary, the Blessed Virgin, had to open her heart with amazing faith! A whole civilization, past/present/future, awaited her response! With understanding little, Mary made a total gift of herself! “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be (done) to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). These words uttered by Mary are what in the Liturgical sense is called – The great FIAT!
Mary’s fiat was not a “one-time only” consent! It became a constant over the days and years ahead. That first “fiat” initially opened her to be the recipient of God’s word becoming flesh, making its home in her. Mary bears the Word of God in the flesh that carries her forward in unwavering faith and obedience.
Mary’s “Fiat”, let it be done to me, said yes to God in Nazareth, and to a whole civilization that was awaiting the Messiah. It expressed in an instant, Mary’s response to God’s ultimate plan for the redemption of the world and her essential role in it. Through her selfless “yes”, Mary became the model of faith, generosity, and complete conformity to God’s holy will. Her example offers us strength to follow God’s will in our own lives when we are asked! Fiat – “let it be done to me” through Christ our Lord!
Blessings – Dcn Jim