25th MARCH 2023

On the Annunciation, let Mary be your guide | The Divine Mercy



Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord


Is 7:10-14; 8:10;                Ps 40:7-11;            Heb 10:4-10;             Lk 1:26-38 25



Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Indeed, the Incarnation of the Son of God is the central mystery of the Christian faith, and in it, Mary occupies a place of prime importance. But what is the meaning of this mystery? And what is the importance that it has for our personal life?

In the Gospel we heard the angel’s words to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.” In Mary, the Son of God becomes man, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: “Behold: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel, a name which means “God-with-us.” Jesus, the Word made flesh, is God-with-us; he came to dwell among us, sharing our human condition.

The apostle John expresses it in the following way: “And the Word became flesh, and he dwelt among us” (cf. Jn 1:14). The expression “became flesh” indicates the most concrete and tangible human reality. In Christ, God really came into the world, he entered our history, he made his dwelling among us, thus fulfilling the intimate aspiration of the human being that the world is truly a home for man.

Contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation we cannot fail to turn our eyes to Mary, the lady “full of grace” to fill us with amazement, gratitude and love at seeing how God, entering the world, wanted to rely on the free consent of one of his creatures. Only at the moment when the Virgin answered the angel, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me,” did the eternal Word of the Father begin his human existence in time. It is moving to see how God not only respects human freedom, but he seems to need it. And we also see how the beginning of the earthly existence of the Son of God is marked by a double “yes” to the saving will of the Father: that of Christ and that of Mary. This obedience to God is what opens the doors of the world to truth, to salvation. Indeed, God created us as the fruit of his infinite love; for this reason, living according to his will is the way to find our authentic identity, the truth of our being, while turning away from God distances us from ourselves and plunges us into emptiness. Obedience in faith is true freedom, authentic redemption, which allows us to unite ourselves to the love of Jesus in his effort to conform to the Father’s will. Redemption is always this process of bringing the human will into full communion with the divine will.

Furthermore, in the Annunciation, we have the kind of dialogue that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would like to have with each of us. God spoke his last Word to Mary, so that the words that, in the history of Israel, had been spoken to Abraham, Moses and the prophets might be fulfilled. They had listened and obeyed; they let the Word of God enter their lives, they made it speak in their actions and made it fruitful in their destiny. Mary’s experience in Nazareth underlines this truth for all of God’s people. Her “yes” in response to the divine offer and the dramatic change of life that would follow show that the coming of God among us demands a radical change.

We are all faced with a decision like Mary. Will we surrender to God and allow God to do what from our human point of view seems impossible? Will we surrender our agenda, our will and our kingdom to God and allow God’s agenda, will and kingdom to become a reality?

Today, we praise the Most Holy Virgin for her faith and with Elizabeth, we too say to her: “Blessed is she who believed” (cf. Lk 1:45). As St. Augustine says: “Mary conceived Christ first in her heart with faith, before she conceived him physically in her womb; Mary believed, and what she believed was fulfilled in her.” Let us pray to the Lord to increase our faith, to make it active and fruitful in love. Let us ask Him to be able, like the Holy Virgin, to welcome the Word of God into our hearts and be obedient to it with docility and constancy.


Response: See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.

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