Monday, 9 April 2018 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which is traditionally celebrated on the twenty-fifth day of March, nine months before Christmas, but postponed this year to this date as the date fell on Palm Sunday, and during the Holy Week and the Easter Octave, the Solemnity of the Annunciation could not be properly celebrated.

This great and solemn feast of the Annunciation is celebrated nine months before Christmas because, on this day, as according to the Scriptures and the Church traditions, is the day when the Lord Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, was conceived in the womb of His mother Mary, upon her acceptance and submission to the will of God, Who through the Archangel Gabriel has revealed His long planned salvation of all of His people.

On this day, we celebrate the moment when the Archangel Gabriel came to the small village of Nazareth, to a woman betrothed to Joseph, a humble and lowly carpenter, who truly was the heir of David, as the heir to the unbroken lineage of the family of David, king of Israel and God’s faithful servant. One might wonder why the Lord would choose such a humble and lowly family to enact His plan to save us mankind, but in truth, that is what God has willed, and what He has done.

Through Mary, He was to fulfil the long promised and long awaited salvation He has proclaimed to His people through the prophets and messengers He sent into this world. And through Mary, the Divine Himself, the Creator God and Master of all, was to become a Son of Man, born of a woman, that while He is the Creator of all, He was also born of His creation. Such was the great mystery of our Lord and our faith in Him.

Ultimately, we need to know why God has done this, if we are to appreciate what we celebrate today better. All of these were because of the love which God has for each and every one of us. If God has not loved us, or if He had not considered as us beloved and truly dear to Him, He would not have taken the trouble to do all He had done for our sake, by becoming a Man, to be with us and to dwell among us, that by that action, He might save us all.

First of all, all of us mankind have, by the reason of our disobedience, been cast off from the grace of heaven and from the love of God. We have sinned because of that disobedience beginning from the time of Adam and Eve, when we mankind first disobeyed God by falling into the temptation of Satan. And because of that, we should have perished and should have been destroyed, as due to our sins, we have become defiled and tainted, and no sin or corruption can exist in the presence of God.

God had laid His plan from the very beginning, knowing right from the start, what He would do in order to bring about the reconciliation and salvation of His beloved creation, that is all mankind. That is why He warned Satan from the very beginning, that whatever plots and efforts he had done to sway mankind to fall away from God would eventually fail, as God would give His salvation, and it would come through the Woman prophesied, not just by God Himself mentioning it, but also the prophet Isaiah.

The prophet Isaiah mentioned to king Ahaz of Judah, that a woman would be with child, and though a Virgin, she would bear a Son. This is something that is impossible with man, for no one can have any child or conceive save through sexual relationship and intercourse. Yet, with Mary, God fulfilled His promise and revealed just how wonderful His love for us is, that, He was willing to take up our human existence, and wrapping His divinity in human flesh, that He, from then on, has two natures, Divine and Man, united in the person of Jesus Christ.

Through His wondrous conception in the womb of His mother, the Blessed ever Virgin Mary, God made it clear that He was not like other man in that He was created as a mere creature of God. Instead, He was begotten by the Father, co-equal with Him, as the Son, from before the beginning of time, and by the Holy Spirit and His power, as the Archangel Gabriel mentioned to Mary, He was incarnate in the flesh.

God entered into this world, taking up human nature, so that by that very action, He may reconcile us as the New Adam, as the first one among mankind to be free from the slavery to sin, by His perfect love and obedience to His Father, rejecting Satan and his temptations to obey the will of God His Father, to the point of taking up the cross, suffer indignation and rejection, being nailed to the cross, and dying on that cross, and that by His death, all mankind may be saved.

By His death, we have shared in His death, in the death of His human existence, that we die to our sinfulness and all of our taints and corruption of this world. And by His glorious resurrection from the dead, He showed us all a glimpse of our eternal existence with Him, if we are faithful to Him and His ways,

Now, are we aware of this great love which God has for us? Are we aware that He has loved us so much that He went through all of these for us, just so that we may be saved? But yet, so many of us are still ignorant of this fact, or that we know, but we reject God’s love and generous offer of mercy, just because we are too proud to admit that we have been wrong and mistaken in our ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore as today we recall the great love which God has for us, that for our sake He has willingly become one of us, embracing our humanity in a way unprecedented and never done before, let us all rededicate ourselves to Him, and love Him just as much as He has loved us first. Let us no longer be disobedient or be rebellious in our ways, that we may draw closer to God in our lives, day after day.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He guide us along our journey, that we will be able to find the path forward, and persevere in our loving relationship with God, the God Who had made Himself Man, that by sharing in our humanity, He may save us all by His death and then by His glorious resurrection. May God bless us all. Amen.

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