FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
MARCH 25, 2023 SOLEMNITY OF THE
ANNUNCIATION of the LORD
WORD of the DAY
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “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 called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” 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: 26-38)
“How shall I live this Word?
Today is the solemnity of the Annunciation of Jesus. The Gospel that the liturgy offers us is one of the best known and most commented on. Contemplating this scene, we immediately recognize our true destiny, our deepest calling: to be loved, to be transformed by God’s love, by beauty. Mary is open to God, she trusts him, even if she doesn’t fully understand Him. She allows herself to be surprised. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: may it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). This is her answer. She wants us to be surprised with her too. God has turned His gaze of love on each of us: we are loved forever and ever.
To this gaze of love Mary promptly responded with hers “Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord, may it happen to me as you said.” She lets herself be loved. She did what she had always done; she accepted God’s love, because in her pure eyes every will of God was nothing but love. “And the Word became Flesh”. Her ‘Yes’ generated the Word of life and gave Him to the world. This is His plan of love for us: that Christ may be born in each of us, so that everything is as it were imbued with Christ, permeated with divinity.
“Today is the feast of the yes” – Pope Francis said in the Mass in Santa Marta on 4 April 2016 – because “in Mary’s yes there is the yes of the whole history of salvation and there begins the last yes of humanity and of God” who “recreates the world, recreates all of us”. It is “God’s yes which sanctifies us, which makes us go forward in Jesus Christ”. This is why today is the right day “to thank the Lord and to ask ourselves: am I a yes man or woman or am I a no man or woman? Or am I a man or a woman who looks away a little, so as not to answer?”
Lord Jesus, today, contemplating Mary’s ‘here I am’, I ask you for the grace to joyfully welcome God’s will, to know how to answer my Yes to bring Jesus into the world.
The Voice of Pope Francis
God Himself is the one who takes the initiative and chooses to insert Himself, as He did with Mary, in our homes, in our daily struggles, full of anxieties and at the same time of desires. And it is precisely within our cities, our schools and universities, squares and hospitals that the most beautiful announcement we can hear takes place: “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!” A joy that generates life, that generates hope, that becomes flesh in the way we look at tomorrow, in the attitude with which we look at others. A joy that becomes solidarity, hospitality, mercy towards all.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA