Often times in the Catholic community we reflect on the fiat of Mary. The fiat of Mary refers to Luke 1:38 when Mary says, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Fiat is Latin for “let it be done.”
Mary’s beautiful consent and willingness to trust God’s plan is always something truly wonderful to reflect on. Though, honestly, it can be hard for me to relate to the Blessed Mother’s beautiful response. Often times my response to almost everything is anything but beautiful. I have been known to be quite blunt and abrasive, so elegance and beauty with my words is an area in which in need to grow in.
I can relate far more to the choppiness and confusion of Saint Joseph’s ‘yes’. That is mostly to do with the fact he first said ‘no’. Saint Joseph originally planned to politely and discreetly say no and walk away from Mary and unborn Jesus. Which at that time would have made him a good man. He could have had Mary killed for adultery. He chose to do the good thing and just leave her quietly.
God wasn’t calling Joseph to goodness, though. He was calling Joseph, as He calls each of us, to greatness. Joseph in a relatable fashion wrestled with this a great deal. My heart can relate to the wrestling Joseph must have endured when faced with the will of God.
The will of God, in all honesty, is a profoundly difficult path to not only follow but to choose again and again each and every day of our lives.
With Joseph, the Lord was clear in Matthew 1:23:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means ’God is with us.’”
After a great deal of wrestling Joseph surrendered to the will of God. Joseph gave up His own plans and chose to follow the perfect plans of God’s. I deeply admire the struggle of Joseph and then the full commitment he made once he set his mind on it.
That is the yes I desire to imitate, as well and the beautiful fiat of Mary. I desire to surrender and then fully commit. I struggle with the fully committing part, not so much the wrestling with God’s will (I do that just fine).
I pray that we can all, in this glorious season of waiting for God to be with us that we can meditate on the ‘yes’ of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.