The angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her a series of impossible-seeming things. The first and most obvious is the thing we’re celebrating today. He announced to Mary that she would conceive a child who would be the Son of God. This would have seemed impossible to her for a variety of reasons. The whole idea that God could take human flesh would have sounded like something out of science fiction to her. That it could happen when she was still a virgin? Impossible. And almost as impossible was what the angel said next, that Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, who was clearly too old to have children, was pregnant with John the Baptist. All impossible. But the angel said, “Nothing will be impossible for God.”
We know something about impossible right now, don’t we? A couple of months ago, it would’ve seemed impossible that we’d be living like this, in the most prosperous and advanced nation in the history of the world, locked in our homes. We wouldn’t have believed it. And yet here we are. The impossible has happened. We’re living under a “stay at home” order. Businesses are closed. Streets are empty. People are getting sick and dying. Hospitals are about to be overrun all over the country. No one has any toilet paper. It’s crazy. Impossible. And yet, here we are.
There’s a new impossible for us now. It feels now like it’s impossible that we’ll ever come out the other end of this. It may feel like it’s impossible that we’ll ever find a cure or a treatment for this disease that’s ravaging the world. It may feel like it’s impossible that we’ll ever get to leave our homes and see our family and friends again. It is easy to watch the news and think, “We’re never going to get through this. It’s impossible.”
Nothing will be impossible for God.
Our God chose a young woman named Mary to become His Mother and the Tabernacle of His flesh. God did the impossible. He conquered the boundary that sin had built between Himself and us. He conquered death on the cross and gives us new life through something as simple as water poured on our heads. He can do the impossible. He will do the impossible. Nothing can separate us from His love, including this virus. It may keep us from gathering together today to worship Him the way we should, but it can’t keep Him from loving us. It can’t stop Him from healing our souls and ushering in His Kingdom.
The angel announced the impossible to Mary. Today we proclaim the impossible to the world. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. He will make all things new.
Fr. Jonathan Mitchican is chaplain at St. John XXIII College Preparatory School in Katy, Texas.