The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
In Christ are humanity and divinity met and joined; he is true God and true man.”
Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of The Lord. Today, we celebrate the day the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would be the Mother of God. In her response, in Mary’s “yes” – which in the Catholic tradition we call this Mary’s fiat – she left the ego-drama, the plans she had for herself and her life, and entered the Theo-drama, the plans God had in store for her when she responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:34).
Let us remember as creatures made in the image and likeness of God, we are meant to participate fully in what God has in mind for our lives. We are not meant to live in the close confines of our own ego. We are meant to allow God to break into our humanity, that we can participate in his divinity, and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. When we do so, when we give our “yes,” the Word Made Flesh breaks into our lives, plants deeply into our souls, that this Word can bud and grow new life within each one of us. Then can we be transformed with Emmanuel – God is with Us – and like St. Paul it will no longer be I who live, but Christ who lives in me (cf. Gal 2:20).
Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ, every time you go to Mass and receive the Eucharist you are giving your “fiat” like Mary’s fiat – her “Yes” to God. It is in giving our yes that allows God to break into our lives to give us the life He desires for us, and that is true freedom, that is true joy.
On this Solemnity of the Annunciation of The Lord, let us say, “Let it be done to me according to your will, O Lord.”
For more from this Solemnity of the Annunciation, please enjoy below.
Peace be with you!
Solemnity of the annunciation
The Solemnity of the Annunciation, celebrated on March 25th, honors the profound meeting between the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, as recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel.
On this day St. Gabriel announced to Mary Immaculate that she would miraculously conceive a Child by the Holy Spirit, the long-awaited Messiah who would save mankind from their sins. This is the moment of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s great fiat of perfect submission to the Divine will.
This day on which the Church celebrates the Incarnation of Jesus Christ in the womb of His Blessed Mother is exactly nine months before the Feast of the Nativity on December 25th.
Credit: Morning Offering, The Catholic Company, http://www.morningoffering.com
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prophecy from isaiah
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 7:10-14; 8-10
The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
The Gospel of the Lord
Not in a servant did He dwell, but in His holy tabernacle not made with hands, which is Mary the Mother of God.”
Saint Dionysius, (d. 264 A.D.), Early Church Father
A Philadelphian, Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859-1937) painted The Annunciation soon after returning to Paris from a trip to Egypt and Palestine in 1897. The son of a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Tanner specialized in religious subjects, and wanted to experience the people, culture, architecture, and light of the Holy Land. Influenced by what he saw, Tanner created an unconventional image of the moment when the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear the Son of God. Mary is shown as an adolescent dressed in rumpled Middle Eastern peasant clothing, without a halo or other holy attributes. Gabriel appears only as a shaft of light. Tanner entered this painting in the 1898 Paris Salon exhibition, after which it was bought for the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1899, making it his first work to enter an American museum.
Credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Annunciation, recounted at the beginning of St. Luke’s Gospel, is a humble, hidden event – no one saw it, no one except Mary knew of it – but, at the same time, it was crucial to the history of humanity.
When the Virgin said her “yes” to the Angel’s announcement, Jesus was conceived and with Him began the new era of history that was to be ratified in Easter as the ‘New and Eternal Covenant.'”
Pope Benedict XVI
Saint Peter, Upon this Rock (Matt 16:18), pray for us
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.