“Game changer.” That’s a good phrase to state that things will never be the same. The invention of the wheel was certainly a game changer. As was the printing press, the light bulb, automobile, and the computer.
In political history the conversion of Constantine was a game changer, as was the Magna Carta, the American Revolution, the atom bomb.
And this corona virus is presently a game changer for our lives right now.
The second most important game changer in human history we just heard about in today’s gospel. Mary said, “Yes!” And because Mary said, “Yes,” Christ took on human flesh, and nothing has been the same since.
What if Mary had said, “No”? “ No, I don’t want to do this.” “No, I have other plans.” “No, this sounds to scary.”
If Mary had said “No,” and Christ did not come upon this earth, we would have no celebration of Christmas, no celebration of Easter, no Church, no Mass, no Sacraments… We wouldn’t be gathered here together around this altar this morning.
“The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.” We certainly have good reason to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, and to thank our Blessed Mother for her affirmative response. Her “Yes,” and Jesus’ “Yes,” are the ultimate game changers in human history. And all of us are the beneficiaries.
It is reassuring to know that Mary’s, “Yes,” did not come easy for her. The gospel says, “She was greatly troubled at what was said.” It took a lot of courage for Mary to say, “Yes.” It took a lot of trust. But she knew the Scriptures. And she knew what St. Paul was to later declare, “For those who love God all things work together for good.” (Cf. Romans 8:28) She was and is indeed “Blessed among women,” because of her trust.
At the end of the gospel, the angel Gabriel parted without saying anything else. But I can picture him looking back at Mary and adding, “Hang on to your seat!”
What were the game changing events in our life? If we were baptized as a baby, we don’t remember it, but it certainly effected how our parents raised us. And for an adult convert, baptism is certainly a game changer, -- the beginning of a new life, with a new community of faith.
For those of us who said, “Yes,” to the call to priesthood or religious life, or to marriage, that was certainly a game changer. It continues to give the focus to how we live today.
Jesus gives us two powerful examples of saying, “Yes.” In the Garden of Olives, he prayed, “Not my will, Father, but yours be done.” On the cross, “Into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit.” Here at Mass we join in Christ’s commitment and say with him, “Into your hands, Father, we commend our spirit.” “Yes,” is more than a word. It is an attitude that identifies who we are, people dedicated to the will of God.
Maybe this corona virus will end up being a real game changer in human history.
Maybe we as a human race will finally begin to realize that we are one family, under one God, that we are called to help each other and enjoy each other.
Maybe this corona virus will help us see how much we have in common, and will bring about greater compassion for one another.
Maybe this corona virus will lead to greater unity and peace among all nations and people. Why not? Today’s gospel encourages us to dream, for “nothing will be impossible for God.”
Remember. The Holy Spirit, the game changer, is amongst us.