The Annunciation of the Lord

March 25, 2020

The angel’s salutation to Mary: “Hail, full of grace,” reminds us of God’s words to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:12), and the angel’s salutation to Gideon, (Jgs 6:12).  Mary is described as “full of grace,” filled with God’s favour and graciousness.  She is the new Ark, a tent and temple.  God is literally and physically in her, and, thus, she is the greater House of God promised to David. 


To Mary’s question, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” the angel reminds her, “Nothing is impossible with God.”  The Lord God will “empower” her (“the Spirit will come upon you“), and “protect” her (“overshadow you“). Mary does not require confirmation but responds in Faith.  She agrees to carry out the Word Gabriel has addressed to her. Since Mary is really a true hearer and doer of the Word of God, she immediately makes a response with faith and trust. Mary thus became the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38). The Annunciation touches both the Good News that God has become one like us so that we might become as God is, and the greater news that God, in the person of Jesus, has “paid the price” for achieving this end. 


God who created us without our permission cannot save us without our active cooperation (St. Augustine). Hence, let us cooperate in the fulfillment of God’s plan for us with Mary’s trusting Faith and humility, through which she brought Jesus to the world, giving Him flesh and blood. Can we also bring Jesus (i.e. hope and salvation) to others in our daily lives? Like Mary who brought God to us as Jesus our Savior, it is our duty to carry Jesus and bring him to the lives of others around us in love, mercy, forgiveness and service. “Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you to magnify the Lord.  Let the spirit of Mary be in each one to exult in Christ.” (St. Ambrose).


When we pray the “Angelus” prayer, we gratefully remember the great gift of God’s Incarnation. In Rosary, we refer to the Incarnation fifty-three times — each time we pray the “Hail Mary” — and the first of the “Joyful mysteries” is the Annunciation, the Incarnation of Our Lord.

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