FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Second Monday of Easter, April 9, 2018
SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
WORD of the DAY
“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be… But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you… Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1: 28-29, 34-35, 38)
How shall I live this Word?
Since this solemnity could not be celebrated on Palm Sunday, we celebrate it today because such a great event that changed the whole of human history cannot be omitted. Mary was troubled at the angel’s words, as any of us would have been faced with the mystery of the incarnation of God in her womb. She asked what meaning the greeting had. She sought to understand as she exercised her faith, which is a responsible and free act. She sought to discern God’s will and even her questions are faith-filled. This is faith, listening.
The angle tells her that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her. A very mysterious answer! The Holy Spirit not only makes the virgin conception possible, but also introduces Mary into the mystery of which she is a part, preparing her for her mission through this discernment. Thus, she is able to reply, “May it be done to me according to your word”. With her yes, she gave her personal and feminine consent for Christ to enter into human history. She is the Virgin of ‘Behold’, who renounces herself to obey the Spirit and be the humble handmaid of the Lord.
Her ‘yes’ will be lived with radical fidelity as she lived it during her whole life because she was totally docile to the Spirit. Let us imitate her intense silence, deep listening, radical humility, and prayerful contemplation.
I will repeat with Mary, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to Your Word’.
The voice of Pope Francis and St. Ambrose
Let us paraphrase the words of St. Ambrose. God continues to look for hearts like that of Mary…Pope Francis. Let the soul of Mary be in each of us to magnify the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each of us to exult in God…St. Ambrose
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Fr. Ferdinando Bergamelli SDB