Thursday, 25 March 2021 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, marking the exact nine months before the date of Christmas as we recall that moment when Our Lord and Saviour was incarnate in the womb of His beloved Mother, Mary, right upon her acceptance of the will of God and her total and complete entrustment to God. By her positive response to the Good News delivered to her through the Archangel Gabriel, Mary has completed and heralded the long awaited coming of the Messiah.

On this day we rejoice in the memory of the Good News that was brought by the Archangel Gabriel, announced to Mary in Nazareth, the coming of God’s long awaited salvation, the fulfilment of all of His plans in saving us mankind. Mankind has long awaited the coming of the salvation which God had in fact proclaimed from the very beginning, right from the very moment that mankind fell into sin because of the temptations of Satan.

Right at that moment the Lord proclaimed that while Satan would strike at the heel of the children of men, but the Woman shall crush Satan himself under her feet. That Woman referred to by the Lord was Mary, the one who would indeed come a long time later as the proof and the fulfilment of God’s many promises to His people, that in the end, He is always still with them and never abandoned them to destruction and evil.

He renewed His promises and as we heard in our first reading today He made the same commitment through His prophet Isaiah, speaking to Ahaz, the king of Judah. The king refused to ask for a sign from the Lord which the Lord then rebuked the king for his false humility and faith, as although he said that he did not want to put the Lord to the test, in his actions and rule as king, he did quite a lot in misleading the people down the path of sin and wickedness, and hence, God again reiterated that the Woman would bear a Child.

Through that exchange between Ahaz and God, we heard the clearest yet of the prophecy of what was to happen, as Mary, the Woman mentioned and promised by God, would indeed bear a Child, Who is the Son of God Most High, the Word of God, Only Begotten Son of God, incarnate in the flesh becoming Man, the Son of Man. He is the Emmanuel mentioned by the Lord to king Ahaz, as His coming into the world meant that God Himself has then dwelled in this world, in our midst, among each one of us.

Today therefore on this great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, all of us rejoice in the Lord and His love for us, that He has fulfilled the promises He made to us, and gave us all His Good News, through the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, soon to be Mother of God, of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through Mary’s obedience to the will of God, her faith in God and her humble acceptance and commitment to her role as the Mother of the Lord and Saviour, we have therefore received the salvation from God in Christ.

Today therefore we ought to reflect on the faith that Mary had in the Lord, her virtues and dedication, as although she was conceived without the taint of original sin by the grace of God, but she was still a woman, and she remained pure and blameless throughout all her life, and hence the Archangel Gabriel hailed Mary as being in the fullness of God’s grace, which made her to be perfect as the one to bear the Lord and Saviour of all, and as the Ark of the New Covenant.

We may be wondering if it is indeed possible for someone to remain pure, blameless and immaculate from sin throughout. Yet, it was how we ourselves have been created by God, pure and incorrupt, and we were tainted only because we allowed sin to enter into our hearts and minds. Our love for God is not great enough for us to resist the temptations to sin and to do what is against the will of God. On the contrary, Mary loved God with all her heart and with all her might, and that love allowed her to remain true to Him, and remain in fullness of grace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how about us then? Have we been living our lives in accordance of God’s will as Mary had done? Or have we instead allowed sin and our desires to control us and the direction of our lives? This is the question that we should really ask ourselves today on this Solemnity of the Annunciation and looking back throughout our Lenten journey, and even further back throughout these past years of our lives. Have we been genuine and good Christians, brothers and sisters?

Let us all seek the Lord with renewed conviction and faith from now on, by looking upon His mother, Mary as our role model and example. Let us all be inspired by the faith of Mary, her piety and dedication, her commitment and humility to accept her role in whatever God had entrusted her with, that she dutifully followed and committed herself, all the way even to the foot of the Cross, when she saw her own Son dying and suffering on the Cross for our salvation, for our benefit.

May Mary, the Mother of God, our loving mother as well, pray for us and continue to aid us in our journey through her guidance and ceaseless intercessions, that we may draw ever closer to her Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour that we all may be worthy to receive from Him the gift of eternal life and glory. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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