Mary's Faith And Devotion To God
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Scripture Readings: Acts 4:23-31; Psalm 2:1-3, 4-7A, 7B-9; John 3:1-8
My dear encountered couples:
We celebrate today the central event in the whole of human history: The Incarnation of the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, nine months before His nativity. On this day, God fulfilled the promise He had made in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:15) that He would send a Seed of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head.
Today’s gospel presents to us the story of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel, who announces the coming birth of Jesus and his special means of conception. Although most of us have heard this story time and time again, something new is waiting for us to discover. As we read and ponder scripture, it can deliver new meaning for each of us in this place, at this time. I think Mary’s story has that capacity for each of us.
Consider the curious mystery that is being revealed to Mary. She is to become the God-bearer, the Mother of God; her son would indeed be God with us, as Isaiah had prophesied centuries before. Surely, Mary did not understand all the details. She asked only the most obvious question -- how this child-bearing condition would happen when she had no husband. But she did not bombard the Angel with questions about the details, including the complications that this would create in her life.
She did not ask about how she would deal with the awkwardness it would inject into her relationship with Joseph, or the difficult explanations that may be required for others among her family and neighbors.
Instead of focusing on her rights, her interests, or her own discomfort, Mary offered herself wholly to the Lord. The concept of a handmaid was familiar to her, as servant status was a common feature of life in this era. Yet she embraced that status, placing herself in a position to receive whatever the Lord would send her way, instead of preferring her own way instead.
Most of us have grown closer to Mary as we continue with our journey in our Catholic faith. We are attracted to her gentle yet powerful commitment to our Lord, which begins here at the annunciation yet continues throughout Jesus’ life, even unto his death on the cross.
Although we do not always follow that example, but her faith and devotion become a source for faith and devotion in us, too.