Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

“Rejoice full of grace.” Mary was so privileged to be addressed in these words. The annunciation of the angel that followed this greeting was a prelude to the greatest announcement that the world was waiting to hear for ages: “I bring you a good news of great joy. Today a Saviour has been for born you” (Lk 2:10). The child, undoubtedly, is holy and Son of God because of the foreshadowing (episkiazein) of the Holy Spirit. This term was the secret of God behind the annunciation (Lk 1:35) and transfiguration (Lk 9:34). It is the manifestation of the creative power of God at work in the begetting of Jesus. Mary, therefore, is the continuation of the marvelous creative power of God. God used his creative power through Mary to recreate the human race, to restore his image to the creation. This is the redemption.

Mary’s reaction to angel’s message is significant. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” that Mary pronounced resembles the biblical description of the pious mother of Samuel: “Let your handmaid find favour in your eyes” (I Sam 1:18). But Mary is more than a saintly figure of the Old Testament. By hearing the word and accepting it she already met the criterion to belong to the new family of Jesus (Lk 8:19-21). Even though she had been given a hint (Lk 1:36-37), she is a believer for whom God’s word is enough. The foreshadowing (creative Spirit) that made her first disciple is the core agent in the creation of the first Christian community. God continues his creative work.

Mary shows us the way to experience the creative power of God in the life individuals. Whatever that is said of Mary can be said about any individual – “Rejoice, full of grace.” One has to remain full of grace, the grace that is received through Word and Sacraments. It is the ultimate call. Annunciation is a reminder of a God who is continuously at work in favour of the humanity and a reminder of our own call.


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