Commentary on the Gospel of
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day Gabriel the Archangel announced to Mary she would bear a child and the child “will be called holy, the Son of God.” This day we celebrate the in-breaking of God into our world, of God becoming human.
We are arrived at maturity when we realize, consciously and with an interior knowledge and understanding, that we are what all people are: human beings.
We all have minds. Wills. Intelligence. Hearts. Sensitivities. The capacity to suffer – to suffer pain, rejection, even death. And the capacity experience joy – to enjoy being alive, being loved by God, companionship with others, and most of all love: getting it and giving it.
We all are born to the limits of human flesh. We are not bodiless spirits, nor will we be in eternity. Our limits are self-evident. Yet we also, all of us, can experience satisfaction of the soul, which match our capacity to desire, long for, and be with God, and with others, our capacity to love, trust, forgive, to be generous, patient, and compassionate . These limits and capacities identify us as human beings. We all have them. We all share them.
These are things that put us in solidarity with Christ. Our solidarity with Christ, in turn, puts us in solidarity with God. The solidarity is not static. Its dynamism catches us up in God’s plan, precipitated by Mary in the event we celebrate today. The event is beautifully described by the poet Denise Levertov:
Creation snaps to attention – Waiting upon Mary’s response.
The wonderful expression of Mary at the moment of conception: “I’m your servant, your handmaid, Lord”: a fusion of attentiveness, humility, intelligence, courage, and decisiveness. “Be it done unto me according to your word!” She would do it. And she is glad to have the responsibility and mighty task of bringing Our Lord and Savior to birth, to raise him, and to send him into the world.
And the Word becomes flesh.
God is now dwelling among us – a fetus in Mary’s womb.
Creation now salutes its maker.
The Father and Spirit are attentive, still in union with the Son.
The union of Mary, the Father, the world, and us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in Christ just conceived. The intimacy of it! The wonder of it!
“You have found favor with God,” says Gabriel – As Abraham did, and David, and Moses.
Mary is now indeed blessed. Materially blessed – with the living Child in her womb, and in Him, and through Him. But not just materially blessed.
Mary is favored to be the one by whom God is revealed, God become flesh – the truth, the way, the life, and love incarnate.
Let's spend some time in prayer with Mary this week as she holds her child Jesus in her womb.