by Rev. Fr. Happy Jacob, N Yorkshire
From the early time itself the Blessed Virgin Mary, because of her virtues and her Pre eminent role in Gods plan for the salvation of the mankind, held a distinct position of admiration and love among the Christians.
Several prophecies of the Old Testament foretold the incarnation of the Son of God and the blessed woman who would become a channel for the salvation of mankind. In Genesis 3:15, "I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head and you will strike his heel."
In Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel."
"Elizabeth is in the sixth month of her pregnancy. God sent Gabriel to the town of Nazareth. He came to Mary and said, greetings, favored one! Lord is with you. Do not afraid, for you have found favor with God. Her name itself means favored one (exalted). And now you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. Mary said to him how can this be, since I am a virgin. The angel said, for nothing will be impossible with God. Then she answered, here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." St Luke 1:26-38
The conception of Jesus in the womb of Virgin Mary was preternatural, i.e.: with out a natural explanation.Lk1 :35 The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will over shadow you. Thus we are informed that the virginal conception of the Jesus was the creative act of God Almighty.
God gives His grace upon all who believes in Him. The new era of salvation begins with the conception in the womb of Mary. Mary knows she is having some thing beyond human capability. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do gods will; even it seemed difficult. When God commands he also gives the help, strength and means to respond.
What ever it was that went through her mind; she came to the place of submission. That is the challenge before every one of us too .Like Mary who bears the Son of God, we also change ourselves to bear God.
When we pray the Nicene Creed we state our confession on this great mystery.
"Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God by the Holy Ghost and became man and was crucified for us inů.." .
Every time God gives us Grace, he expects us to respond with the same willingness and obedience and trust that St Mary did. Along with this we have to learn the Pauline thought in Phil 2:5-11. "God send his only begotten son to the world to save the sinful world." This passage encouraging us as Christian men and women to be like Jesus. Verse 5. Let the same mind be in you that was in Jesus Christ.
Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of Annunciation to St. Mary
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
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