“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May Your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
According to the National Wildlife Federation, loggerhead sea turtles “were named for their relatively large heads, which support powerful jaws and enable them to feed on hard-shelled prey….The loggerhead sea turtle was listed as threatened throughout its range…under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and has received Federal protection since that time.” Every two to three years, adult female loggerheads “mate in coastal waters and then return to nest on the very same beach where they were hatched, called the ‘natal” beach.’” Mother turtles dig pits in the damp sand on these sacred beaches. When the pits are large enough for the mother’s body, she then digs an even deeper hole in order to lay about a hundred golf ball-sized eggs. With great effort, she covers the eggs. Then she restores herself from her exhausting work before lumbering back to the sea.
The tiny baby turtles hatch about eight weeks later. No bigger than dollar pancakes, the hatchlings use miniscule flippers to climb out of the holes of their birth and follow in their mothers’ paths to the sea. Only one in a thousand of these babies will survive.
Travel back in time to another young mother, Mary of Nazareth. The Holy Spirit called to her from the ages and told her of her incomprehensible commission to bear the Son of God in human form. Though Mary must have been terrified, she answered God’s call and said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May Your word to me be fulfilled.” Did Mary understand, at the moment of the Divine Conception, that she would walk a walk of sorrow, carrying the weight of her humble assignment in her heart each step of the way? Did she know, at the moment the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” her, that she was signing up for thirty-three years of knowing her firstborn Son would someday save His people and all of mankind? Did Mary, like the loggerhead turtle mothers, understand the dangers of bringing this little Prince into an uncertain world where people who at first loved Him would cry, “Crucify Him!” and revile Him and spit on Him? But Mary simply said, “Let it be,” and it was.
Praise You, God, for choosing this perfect earthly mother for Your only Son. Amen