As I discern my next steps in ministry, I am reading about the sacred feminine and the many names for our Blessed Mother Mary in Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal by Christine Valters Paintner. A passage puzzled me—

“The story of the annunciation makes clear that God waited for her (Mary’s) consent. This yes to a co-creation with the divine is at the heart of her power.” 

What did the author mean that Mary’s Yes was the center of her power? Power is not a word that comes to mind with Mary’s consent – submission, surrender, humility – but not power. How was Mary’s Yes a kind of power? Certainly not power over, but perhaps power to be or do.

In reflecting, I came to understand that in Mary’s Yes, she was collaborating with God who shared divine power with her. She received the power to co-create Jesus, to give birth to the Holy. She then nurtured and shaped Jesus so his life would bear fruit. In birthing Jesus, Mother Mary birthed each of us through his life, death, and life-giving resurrection. Our new life grows from Mary’s consent and God-given generativity. Yes is potent indeed.

We too are granted the gift to co-create with our yes to God. When we say yes, God endows us to creatively birth the holy in whatever way we are called and assent to.

As I continue to discern, I appreciate the energy and potential of yes. I pray my yes will bring into being something sacred that I nurture and shape to bear fruit.

For me, this is powerful Easter joy!

Pat Grebe is an Associate Spiritual Director affiliated with WVIS.