“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”
On the day in which our Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, we revisit that seminal passage in Luke’s Gospel (1:26-38) wherein the Angel Gabriel explains to our Blessed Mother her role in what would go on to be a salvation story for the ages, the moment that would literally change everything.
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” the Angel Gabriel assures her. “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."
Pope Francis says of the Annunciation that “The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life. She conceived Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, and every Christian, each one of us, is called to accept the Word of God, to accept Jesus inside of us, and then to bring him to everyone.”
This mysterious, long-awaited descendant of David, the one whom the Virgin Mary would conceive by way of the Holy Spirit, would indeed go on to be King; but not just for a time in history and not merely in an earthly sense. This King of the Jews would go on to be King of the world, King for all of eternity. He is our King as we make our way through the trials and tribulations of daily life in the year 2020 as well.
At our RCIA Table this past Sunday, a question was posed to everyone in the group: What would Jesus say to you if he could be here right now? One of our sponsors quickly responded. He said “Jesus would say to me ‘I bet you’re awfully glad I came.” I venture to say we could all echo those sentiments.
“Confirm in our minds the mystery of true faith, we pray, O Lord, so that, confessing that he who was conceived of the Virgin Mary is true God and true man, we may, through the saving power of his Resurrection, merit to attain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. ~ Amen”