The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
The feast of the Annunciation, now recognized as a solemnity, was first celebrated in the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Mary has an important role to play in God’s plan. From all eternity, God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. Because Mary is God’s instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God’s grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.
Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.
This week would be a beautiful time to begin praying the Angelus prayer, repeating the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel. The Angelus is a prayer that dates back to at least the thirteenth century. Traditionally the prayer was repeated at six in the morning, noon, and six in the evening, and the church bells reminded the faithful to stop and pray.
If the Angelus is not a usual part of your routine, this would be an excellent week to give it a try!
Click here for the Angelus Prayer!
Resources from: The Catholic All Year; Franciscan Media