Homily (Reflection) for the Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity) (25th March, 2020) on the Gospel and the Solemnity
Ps 39:7-11 (R.vv.8.9);
We celebrate “Mary’s acceptance of the role that God has chosen for her in his plan of redemption.” It is the celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. This took place “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth's pregnancy, cf. Lk 1:36. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the New Year until 1752.
Topic: Entirely God’s.
In today’s gospel, angel Gabriel was sent by God to Virgin Mary. The angel said to her, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.” Mary was much perplexed by these words. And the angel went further,
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.
Mary asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel replied, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.” Mary immediately gave her acceptance speech: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
We see how willingly Mary accepted her role in God’s plan for our redemption. She did not even ask for time either to think over it or to consult anybody. We must remember that Mary could have said no but she willingly said yes to the will of God. And it is on this single-minded yes of Mary hangs today’s solemnity.
On our part, we are God’s “unworthy servants” (Lk 17:10). Consequently, we ought to accept the will of God always willingly after the example of Mary. The world and the desire for it that we sometimes cling to will surely pass away. So also is the pandemic, COVID-19. But he who does the will of God abides forever, cf. 1Jn 2:17. Saint Peter rightly asks us “to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God” (1Pt 4:2). And one needs endurance to do this, cf. Heb 10:36. Finally, accepting the will of God does not make one lesser but greater, cf. Prov 11:24.
Bible Reading: Rom 12:1-2; 1Thess 4:1-12.
Thought for today: Mary is the mother of our Saviour.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to appreciate your Son and Mary who willingly accepted to be His mother – Amen.
Holy Mary – Pray for us especially against this COVID-19.
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