March 24, 2019
The Plan of God
The church celebrates the Annunciation of the Lord as a solemnity on March 25th each year. The fact of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is related in Luke 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused to Joseph, of the same royal family. The Angel Gabriel appeared to her and explained God’s plan.
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” Mary was troubled in spirit since she did not know the Angel nor the cause of his coming. So the Angel said “fear not Mary, thou has found grace with God. Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shall bring forth a son and call him Jesus. He will be son of the most High and his kingdom will have no end. The Holy Spirit shalt come upon thee and the power of the Most High shalt overshadow thee.”
The Angel assures Mary that this is the plan of God to establish the new kingdom. Mary’s humble and obedient response was “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.” Mary could have refused. But, from all eternity, God knew that Mary would give her assent to whatever He asks. At her assent, Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. That is why the church keeps the nine months of human pregnancy for the Nativity of the Lord at Christmas. Through His mother, He is a member of the human race. He came to found a new generation of the children of God.
Like Mary, we too give out assent to God’s plan for us, i.e. a new springtime of renewal and sanctification to become true children of God.
✝ Fr. Mathai Vellappallil, SDB