March 25, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian Abu):

     The mystery of the Annunciation to Mary inaugurates the fullness of time, the time of the fulfillment of God’s promises and preparations. It was revealed to Mary that she will conceive Jesus in whom the whole fullness of God would dwell bodily. The Incarnation is the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word made flesh in the womb of Mary.

     God sent forth His Son but to prepare a body for Him, He wanted the free cooperation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of His Son a daughter of Israel, a young woman, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.” “The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming death, so also should a woman contributes to the coming of life.” Lumen Gentium 56

     At the announcement that she would give birth to the Son of the Most High without knowing a man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that with God nothing will be impossible; “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” Thus, giving her consent to God’s word, Mary became the mother of Jesus. In her yes in the name of all human nature, she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

     This Gospel invites us to imitate the faith of the Virgin Mary. Her trust in the power and plan of God made her worthy to be the mother of Incarnate Word. We, too, should profess our faith and whole trust in God and believe that mysterious things will happen in our life. Let us ask the intercession of the Mother of God that we may say our yes to God with humility and love.

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