This week we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord - the great moment when Mary said yes to God's call and the moment the Word became flesh. “It was her faithful response to the angel’s message, her fiat, that began the work of Redemption” (In Conversation with God 6, Francis Fernandez, p.175). There is a lot we can learn from this great event in human history; there is a lot the Annunciation can teach us.
This is the moment in time that God saw it best to send Jesus, his only Son, to save humanity. God entrusted Mary with one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. He could have fulfilled the task of redemption in many, many ways. He could have snapped his fingers and fixed everything without sending his Son to suffer and die on the cross… but he willed it this way.
What does the Annunciation teach us?
There are many lessons we can learn from the Annunciation of the Lord. Here are just a few:
ONE: God made it much easier for us to speak to Him, by lowering himself to become man. “Christ, in fact, was conceived in the womb of Mary and became man to reveal the eternal love of the Creator and Father and to make known the dignity of each one of us” (John Paul II, Angelus at the Sanctuary of Jasna Gora, 5 June 1979).
TWO: Mary is a model of purity and sanctity for all of us. This sinless woman, carried the Son of the eternal Father in her womb for nine months - a fitting environment for God. We can turn to her in moments of struggle and she will support us in the battle.
THREE: We are now sons and daughters of God the Father, since Christ is our brother. When the Word became flesh all of humanity was changed. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)
FOUR: Mary completely abandoned herself into the hands of God and he used her for great things. Like Mary, we too have a mission and purpose that God is calling us too. But giving our lives to Him, He is able to work in us and through us to accomplish His will.
FIVE: The space we occupy in the world can be sanctified and made holy.“Sanctity does not necessitate total separation from worldly affairs. For it is not human nature that opposes God’s will but sin and the effects of original sin which have so severely damaged our souls. Our lifelong struggle to become like Christ brings with it a life-long battle against whatever degrades our humanity - egoism, envy, sensuality, a critical spirit ." (In Conversation with God 6, Francis Fernandez, p.179-180).
SIX: Humility is an essential component to holiness. Mary's humility is seen very clearly in this moment. "I am the handmaid of the Lord,' she tells the angel. We can learn a lot from the simple way she opens herself up to the will of God and allows Him to work through her.