|4 years ago :: Jul 10, 2009 - 3:06AM #1|
Of this we can be certain though, before the Annunciation of St Gabriel you loved God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength. You were such a one as responded to the Grace of God in a way that even before the Word took flesh in your virginal womb meant you could serve as a model and exemplar to those who love the Lord in all generations and seek to do His Most Holy Will. You, dear Mary, are a pioneer on the way of the Lord and our best and brightest guide towards Him in all ages and for all ages. There were things at this Annunciation that you did not fully understand, you were troubled, you pondered, you asked. To love Him and to serve Him it is not needful you showed us that we should fully understand Him, simply that we should wholly love Him and this you did then and still do today Mary Hope of Christians.
You showed us in this brief but world changing dialogue with the Archangel of the Most High that it is not great knowledge that is the key to great love and great service. No, it is humility that is the key and possessing that gift you alone of all the world had the highest Angel in the service of the Highest Power come down to you and salute you. You alone had Almighty God come down into your womb to take on flesh for your Divinely inspired creaturely humility proved a fitting home for the Divine humility that did not think equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied Himself taking human form with your flesh and your blood Most Dear Mary.
And what is humility? Is it the false modesty that so often masquerades under that honourable title? God forbid. No, humility is the height of acute self analysis. When, by the grace of God, we understand ourselves truly to be what we are in relation to our Creator and to our neighbour then we are necessarily humble. And the more perfectly we understand ourselves then the more perfectly humble we shall be. It is a sign of your great wisdom, dear Lady, that you were so perfectly humble and by your prayers may we be brought to similar self-knowledge. God knows we greatly stand in need of it
Was it, perhaps, because of your humility that you were troubled by the angels greeting? Did you consider yourself all unworthy to stand high in God's favour? Surely, though all these thoughts would have been swiftly driven from your heart and mind by that stunning promise made to you by Gabriel. A Son! And what a Son, one who would reign on the throne of David forever. And you, Mary, to be the Mother of the Messiah, the highest dream and hope of the maidens of Gods chosen people for generations.
What great joy, what bright vision, in your youthful, pure heart a surge of no worldly ambition but of pure love of God and desire to serve His most holy purposes. Yet, no doubt, some bewilderment also, for had you not already pledged yourself to a life of virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven? Why else would a young woman, engaged shortly to be married who has been told she will become a mother ask how this should come about? Any other soon-to-be-wed maiden would assume that it would be by the normal process of generation, but you knew that could not be so. You and Blessed Joseph had already vowed yourselves to another path, you had listened to another vocation and surely God had approved and accepted this offering you had made to Him.
Then it was, gift upon gift, that you received that astonishing pledge, that first intimation of the irruption into human history the very author of all that that history contains. It was to be no man but the Holy Spirit, very God Himself, who would bring into your virginal womb that new life who was to be and to become your Son. In this moment, dear Mother of Sure Hope, you once again show yourself as our guide and teacher for in what other creature can we see more clearly the action of the Blessed Holy Trinity? You are she most highly favoured by the Father, espoused of the Holy Spirit and mother of the Divine Son. Like you we must conform our will to that of the Father, allow ourselves to be wholly possessed and penetrated by the Spirit and live in the very closest loving intimacy with the Son.
When did Salvation first enter the world. Not until you, of your own freely given will said "Behold the handmaid of the Lord may it be done to me according to your word". And it was the Word indeed that entered into the world and into your womb when you uttered this humanity saving word of consent to God's great purposes. "..may it be done to me according to your word" with this freely offered and unconditional gift of yourself, Mary, not only did you consent to our Salvation but also to your own future anguish at Calvary. Your gift of self was complete, without reservations, you could not foresee the future but you could and did immediately abandon your own will, your own plans and place yourself and your unborn Son entirely into the hands of our Father God. More than that, you did so with great joy.
You, whose prayers are most powerful with the Risen Lord, pray for us sinners who turn to you as our Advocate. Pray that we also will, with joy, place our entire trust in Him who is above every name that can be named.
Immaculate Mother of God, pray for us.