Br. Constantine Carpenter
“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
A most blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation to all! It was on this very same day about two thousand years ago in the small town of Nazareth that the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
In an attempt to understand the mystery of the incarnation, we first need to keep in mind the big picture, that is, the whole purpose and reason of why God even became man.
It is with this rupturing of man’s friendship with God that the need of a redeemer can be clearly seen.
We know that prior to their sin, Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of God, even walking with Him in the garden. Imagine that ! But after they had fallen by eating the forbidden fruit they shattered the harmonic order that existed between God and man, causing nature itself to rebel against them. It is with this rupturing of man’s friendship with God that the need of a redeemer can be clearly seen. Throughout the ages God slowly reveals His plan of salvation to His chosen people, especially through the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The Lord himself will give you a sign. It is this: the virgin is with child and will soon give birth to a child whom she will call Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). And it is with Mary’s fiat pronounced in Nazareth that these words finally find their fulfillment.
The Letter to the Hebrews is telling us that, in obedience to the Father’s will, the Eternal Word comes among us to offer the sacrifice which surpasses all the sacrifices offered under the former Covenant. His is the eternal and perfect sacrifice which redeems the world.”
It is particularly in these moments like these that we, like Mary “must walk through darkness, in which she must simply trust the One who called her
The holy father then goes to show some connections between Abraham, “our father in faith”, and Mary. At first Mary and Abraham seem to be two very distinct characters but the pope points out their similarity in that they both received a promise from God. “Abraham was to be the father of a son, from whom there would come a great nation. Mary is to be the Mother of a Son who would be the Messiah, the Anointed One.” It was their unwavering faith that merited Mary and Abraham God’s blessing.
St. John Paul II continues: “for both Abraham and Mary, the divine promise comes as something completely unexpected. God disrupts the daily course of their lives, overturning its settled rhythms and conventional expectations.” And sometimes this happens to us as well. God at times allows things to happen to us which we do not normally expect, things which throw off our daily rhythm of life and the way we think things ought to go. We can take, for example, all that has happened during this time of covid 19. It is particularly in these moments like these that we, like Mary “must walk through darkness, in which she must simply trust the One who called her.”
Let us frequently, try to keep this mystery of the Incarnation in mind. Let us turn our eyes to Nazareth and contemplate the virtues of that holy maid who with her fiat allowed God to become incarnate in her womb.
St. John Paul II's Annunciation Homily: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/travels/2000/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20000325_nazareth.html
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