Ave Maria- The Annunciation

22 Dec

Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Tui, Jesus
Sancta Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae

Only three days to go until Christmas…As we prepare to celebrate the ever-nearing anniversary of Christ’s birth, I thought it to be important to recognize a very important event leading up to Our Lord’s birthday- the Annunciation. Last Sunday at Mass the Gospel reading told of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary:

“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”…”Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)

It isn’t without the help of Mary that God came to humankind in the flesh. Thus, Mary deserves all the adulation given to her as the Holy Virgin, Mother of God. Mary was bewildered at Gabriel’s news:

“How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” (Luke 1:34)

She knew of the potential repercussions of her pregnancy before marriage. But Mary trusted God to protect her. Indeed, God made a very confused and frightened Joseph understand His mission. Joseph was told not to be afraid, that the child within her was conceived “from the Holy Spirit”, thus Joseph should take Mary as his wife (cf. Matthew 1:20)

Today, we are also told not to be afraid of Jesus’ second coming, but to increase in righteousness, and therefore to prepare for the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to come again. The voice of the angel Gabriel is sounded out in the words of worthy contemporaries. Pope John Paul II said on many occasions, “Do not be afraid”. We are not to fear the things of this world; we must live in it. But we must speak out in word and action: to encourage those who act in accordance with the Gospel and to bring those who commit acts contrary to God’s will back into communion with God. Above all, we must listen to God through prayer.

In several instances, Pope John Paul’s way mirrored that of Mary. Mary’s “yes” to God paved the way for Jesus’ birth. All who follow Jesus follow Mary in saying “yes” to God. John Paul II’s papal motto was “Totus tuus” (“All yours”). He tried to make himself totally devoted to Mary’s “yes”. Mary entrusted herself to God, “Totus tuus”, although she couldn’t fully understand the Mystery of the Incarnation unfolding within her womb.

“To Mary, who gave us the Word of life, and who kept his unchanging words in her heart, do I entrust the journey of the Church in todays world. May the Blessed Virgin help us to communicate by every means the beauty and joy of life in Christ our Savior.

To all I give my Apostolic Blessing!”

-Pope John Paul II, January 24 2005.

The Mother of God is a model for all who acknowledge and follow God and allow God’s work to come to fruition within us. As such, we pray:

Hail Mary
Full of Grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners now
And at the hour of death




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