Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday word, 26 Mar 2007

Annunciation (26 Mar 2007) Is 7. 10-14; 8.10; Ps 40; Hb 10. 4-10; Lk 1. 26-38
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Mission and Spirit

The date of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Jesus’ birth was fixed after Christmas had been set. The Solemnity of the Annunciation replaces Sunday celebrations except in Lent. The Solemnity when it falls on a Lenten Sunday is transferred to Monday in order to preserve the integrity of Lent and its rhythm.

The Annunciation is about the mission of Mary not her person: 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.

We know well Mary’s puzzlement, indeed her consternation, at receiving such a mission. It was possible because, the angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you."

We also recall clearly Mary’s response to the angel, Let it be as you say. Mary’s response is not different than words we associate with Jesus: because of author of the Letter to the Hebrews used the Psalmist’s words to describe Jesus: I come to do [God’s] will, God’s desire.

The mission of each and every Christian is the same. God creates each of us to give birth to Jesus by our deeds. Mary’s confident trust in God’s desire for her began final phase in the history of our salvation. Her son was as trusting and gives us a share in his spirit.

Jesus’ spirit accompanies us on our missions. Jesus’ spirit consecrates us and empowers us to fulfill our missions life. Mary’s Annunciation reminds us to ask and to rely more on Jesus’ spirit to assist us.
Wiki photo of Rosetti's Annunciation is in the public domain.

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