Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you . . . .”
I too ask, “How can this be, since she is a virgin?”
Do I speak of eros? No. Culture speaks of eros and biology we know. The superficial and literal reading is cultures’. It’s not innocent. Mary's question knows her culture and her role.
Mary's doubt says, I'm undefiled; I can't fulfill my cultural and biological purpose. She believes her lack of fulfillment is her virginity. Gabriel tells Mary Elizabeth is doing something Mary believed couldn't be done. Mary's reply is, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord . . . .” She's starting anew. Mary and Elizabeth are doing something they didn't believe possible.
I speak of living experience happening for the first time. I speak of living a life anew. Before my children were born, even with time to live into preparation for their births, I couldn't have foreseen my life, our lives, and now their lives, 26 and 22 years later. The power of creation overshadows me.
The annunciation and the incarnation, is living an experience of being born anew. Virginity is a sense of the end of what I've left behind as I look back. Virginity is the feeling and experience I live into after I've said, “Here am I,” and I live forward.
I'm a virgin more than I've ever imagined. I say to start over is to say, “How can this be? I'm a virgin!”