And so the invitation is to be disarmed by God’s desire for us, “for he longs to be longed for, loves to be loved and desires to be desired.”* Our prayer affords us the extravagance of luxuriating in our helplessness and utter dependence on God, our confidence in a God who loves and loves. With Mary we encounter the almost absurd, baffling extravagance of God’s desire for us. He can’t help himself. God is helplessly in love. He has fallen in love with our flesh. Mary’s chosenness reveals in a particular way the reality of our chosenness. God wants each of us completely for himself. God in Christ desires to surrender himself to us. And it is the secret we were born for. Our unending work is to let ourselves be defenseless, utterly defenseless, like Mary, in the face of such self-offering; utterly nonresistant to God’s desire for us, for our body, our whole selves. And so we have to let ourselves be loved, not because we’re worthy, but because God wants it. Mary shows us how to give Jesus unrestricted access to our hearts.
Drawing by Leonardo,
*Maximus the Confessor.