The Annunciation of the Lord
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The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
I always wondered why the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th. It took a woman to tell me. “Well Father, it typically takes nine months for a child to be born. So nine months from now will be December 25th. Understand?
Our Calling. Mary’s call from God is quite unique, but it isn’t singular. We have all been called by God to know Him more closely and to follow Him more dearly. He is, and will always be, the answer to our most profound questions.
Who am I? I am a gift from God. I am the Lord’s personal gift to others. I am a “favored one.”
What I am may come from my parents and environment, but who I am comes from the decisions I make in my long standing relationship with the Lord.
Do you see yourself as a gift from God to the world? Do you value yourself as an entirely unique “never-again-to-be-seen” individual?
What am I here for? To be holy. To be a saint. To be another Christ.
I have been sent by God right now right here to talk His talk and to walk His walk. His life is my life. Without Him I can do nothing. With Him, I can do all things lovely, regardless of how inadequate I may feel. Rain or shine, day or night, beautiful or disfigured, I have been called by God to imitate Him throughout my life and in the various stages of His life (i.e. Crucifixion and Resurrection), for He is the definition of saintliness and holiness.
What does it mean to be a saint? To do the Will of God.
To answer His divine call with a human yes. To answer His divine whisper with one gigantic Texan yell. That’s one small step of faith in God, one giant leap of help for humanity.
Every morning, every day and every night, I need to say to myself “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” What a great way to start the day, keep the day, and end the day. What a great Lenten resolution for the rest of my life!
What does it mean to do the Will of God? To love.
We have been called by God to love like His Son: to bear all things, endure all things and conquer all things. To never give up on anyone or never write them off.
But love is not magical; it requires sacrifice, and sacrifice requires selflessness. The Good News is God is nailed to us (the Cross represents us). The Bad News is we are constantly telling Him to save Himself and get down from the Cross.
The husband-and-wife singing duo Captain and Tennille said it well, “Love will keep us together.” Talking about love is a lot easier than sustaining it. Selfishness does to love what acetone does to nail polish.
The only thing that can peel two people apart is selfishness.
The mystery of the Annunciation is the answer to our prayers. God calls us in as many ways as there are people, prayers and nail polish. Yet our answer should always be the same: “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will” (Ps. 40: 8a, 9a). (0)