Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Annunciation - Faith and Discipleship

In today's Gospel, a young Jewish girl named Mary is being told by a stranger that she is "highly favored", that the Lord is with her, and through the power of God, she will become Theotokos - literally the "Bearer of God". Naturally, Mary wonders who the heck this guy is and what this all means, "what sort of greeting might this be"? Our messenger lays it all on the line for her; the spirit of God would overshadow her, and as a result she would bear the Son of the Most High, Emmanuel - "God With Us".

How Mary, likely frightened out of her wits, responds is nothing short of astounding - "Let it be done to me according to your word." Mary was well aware of the stigma that surrounded an unmarried, pregnant girl in first century Palestine; a lot less dainty than things are these days! She knew her betrothed Joseph only had to say the word and she could be brought up on adultery charges and possibly stoned to death! She said "Yes", as literally the first Christian.

ONLY through Mary's assent could Emmanuel - God with us - take place.

The Feast of the Annunciation celebrates the "Yes" of Mary, her perfect discipleship, her assent to God's plan. It also demonstrates a disciple's gift of free will - Mary, like all of us, had the ability to refuse. May we all emulate Mary's example of faith and discipleship as we prepare to celebrate our Holy Week!

Pax et Bonum,

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10
Psalm 40:7-11
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38

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