Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day which celebrates the moment when the Archangel Gabriel came into the world, to the poor village in Nazareth in the region of Galilee, proclaiming to a young virgin named Mary the Good News which mankind had awaited for a very long time.
On this day we remember that very moment when Mary conceived the Lord Jesus, Son of God Most High and Saviour of all mankind, the moment when she said yes to the Archangel Gabriel, the time when she obeyed the will of God with a perfect humility and devotion, with perfect love and commitment to God. And it was because of this yes, that the world has seen its Saviour and God’s long planned salvation has come to its fruition at last.
It was at this moment, at that time in Nazareth, that the Lord made into motion His long planned plan to save all of us. He has promised His beloved people again and again, that He would send forth His salvation towards them, and the Messiah, or the Saviour would enter into this world, and through Him all the people of God will find their way to the Lord and be saved.
It was thus why Jesus was born into this world, according to the words of the Scripture itself, that as the prophet Isaiah mentioned it in his book, that the new light has dawned upon the world, and all those who are living in the darkness, in this darkened world has seen a great, new light. That light is the light of Christ, Who is the true Light of the world.
God Himself had loved us so much to the point that He sent us none other than His own Beloved Son, the Divine Word Incarnate, God before all ages, Son of God and part of the Holy Trinity into this world, to become our Saviour. In order to do this, He became Incarnate into the flesh of us mankind, that as a Man, at the same time that He is Divine, He may share in our humanity, and lifting up all of our sins and unworthiness, He may bring upon us the reconciliation with God.
By assuming our flesh, through the will of God the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Son has united all of our humanity with Himself, as He became our great and true High Priest, offering for our sake and in our place, the perfect sacrificial offering for our sins and wickedness. It is because of His love for us that He had done all of these. He would not want us to fall into hell and damnation there, and therefore, He came into this world for our sake.
But all these were also made possible because of the obedience and the faith of Mary, who placed herself in the hands of God, trusting completely in His will and desires, obeying Him as one who is His servant and handmaiden, with the words, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He has willed it.” This basically means, “His will shall be done”, the example of perfect and total obedience. It was at that very moment that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became Man and took upon Himself the flesh and the nature of mankind.
Let us all ask ourselves in this time of Lent, during this season when we are supposed to spend time reflecting on our lives and take a step back, in order to reevaluate our actions and deeds in life. Are we able to be like Mary in our lives, in our deeds and works? Are we able to follow in her footsteps, in how she responded to the Archangel Gabriel?
Let us not think that just because Mary, the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, has been conceived and born without the taint of original sin, therefore she is different from any one of us. She also experienced moments of doubt and uncertainty when the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared to her and declared to her that she would bear a Child, and the Child is none other than God Himself, and thus, she would become mother of God.
Who would not be surprised when the person heard such a shocking revelation? And yet, even though some doubts and uncertainties came to her in the beginning, as she asked the Archangel Gabriel for clarification on how such thing was possible, as she was still an unmarried virgin, she chose to place her trust in God, and surrendered herself completely to do the will of God.
It is often that we mankind like to do things our own way, and we prefer things to go according to what we have planned and prepared for. We do not like it when things do not go as what we wanted it, but unfortunately, more often than not, that is exactly what happened in reality. And when we tried to make things to go along what we wanted, that is when much bickering, struggles, infighting and animosity came about.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this season of Lent, we are all called to reflect on the state of our souls, on our actions and deeds in this world that had led us into sin and disobedience against God. This is the time for us to find the way to the Lord, by discerning carefully what it is that we need to do in order to draw closer to the Lord our God. And there is indeed no better way to do so, than to follow in the example of Mary, the mother of God.
Let us all learn from the faith which Mary had in the Lord, putting her complete trust in Him, despite all the uncertainties and fears she had, but she remained faithful and obedient, even to the very end. She placed her faith in God, and she followed her Son all the way to Calvary, to the foot of the Cross, waiting patiently at the side of her Son as He completed the work of salvation for which He came into this world for.
May all of us be more like Mary in our ways, our actions, words and deeds. Let us all commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, following the example of Mary and the holy saints of God, so that in all things, we may grow ever closer to God, particularly through this perfect opportunity of Lent, seeking forgiveness for all of our sins and wickedness, that we may find our way to the Lord and receive His grace forevermore. Amen.