“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be it done to me according to your word.”
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. With Mary’s humble, unconditional obedience, the Word became Flesh. In yesterday’s Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI marked the significance of this event with these words:
The Annunciation is a humble, hidden event that no one saw or knew except for Mary. But at the same time it is a decisive moment in the history of humanity. When the Virgin said ‘Yes’ to the Angel’s Annunciation, Jesus was conceived and with Him began a new era in history, which was eventually sanctioned by the ‘new and eternal covenant.
In fact, Mary’s Yes was the perfect reflection of that by Christ when he came into the world as one can read in the way the Letter to the Hebrews interprets Psalm 39: “Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God' (Heb 10: 7).”
The Son’s obedience mirrors that of the Mother and thus, thanks to the meeting of these two “Yes”, God was able to take a human form. Since it celebrates a central mystery of Christ, His incarnation, the Annunciation is also a Christological event.”
Mary’s response to the Angel continues in the Church, which has been called to make Christ present in history, making itself available so that God may continue to visit humanity with His Mercy.
Individually we are also each called to continue Mary’s response. Individually we are called in humble obedience to serve God and make Christ present to those around us.
Because today marks the beginning of Christ’s very real but yet unborn presence within Mary’s womb, today is also designated the Day of the Unborn Child. Spend a few extra minutes in prayer today, offering petitions for all unborn children. Pray that our culture eventually mirrors Mary’s “Yes!” to life with its own respect for all human life, especially the unborn.
At Mass this morning, Father mentioned we are excused from our Lenten penance because today is a Solemnity. We must celebrate this Solemnity of the Annunciation with great joy. If we become so attached to our sacrifices that we cannot let go to celebrate, then we have allowed our self-denial and mortifications to become a matter of pride. Oh, what a joyous day indeed! I do believe a coffee house latte is waiting for me!