The Annunciation

Luke 1: 26-38
Is 7:10-14;8:10/Ps 40:7-1/Heb 10:4-10

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’

Her virtues that we emulate
Will shield us from all tribulation;
Today let’s pause to meditate
Her ‘Yes’ that led to our redemption

In the sixth month of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the young maiden Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel to announce her role in God’s plan of salvation. Pledged to be married soon to Joseph, Mary would have been placed in a great quandary by the angel’s news that she would be with child by the power of the Holy Spirit. But this awesome news that she would become the mother of “the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, to reign over the house of Jacob forever” was a divine privilege that a simple village girl like her could hardly refuse. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” After hearing these revelations, Mary could only reply in total submission, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be done to me as you have said.” Then the angel departed. (Luke 1:26-38)

Reflection

The Church celebrates this day as the Feast of the Annunciation. It is a special day worth commemorating because this day in human history marks the Incarnation of the promised Redeemer, Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) It was in relation to the date of the Savior’s birth on December 25 that the Church selected March 25 (exactly nine months before) as the day when the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity took place, the same day that the great news was announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

We do not know if Mary was well versed with the prophetic writings, particularly the words of Isaiah in the first reading: “. . . the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” (Isa 7:14) But her canticle in vs. 46 to 55 revealed her ecstatic feelings to her cousin Elizabeth, knowing that she occupied a unique place in the whole of mankind, because she was now bearing the Son of God. And yet this special honor in no way affected her humble disposition. She even took pains riding a donkey to visit her aged cousin, and stayed to serve her for three months until Elizabeth delivered her own baby.

The Annunciation highlights what we admire most in our Mother Mary: her humility, submission, and obedience to God’s will. Her example clearly defines the meaning of discipleship, which all followers of her Son should strive to emulate.

We thank You, Father for the example of our Mother Mary, providing a beacon for us in times of darkness and trials, for no woman ever felt the pains that she had. Amen.

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