Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Annunciation - March 25


Readings on the day of Annunciation (March 25)
Genesis 15: 1-21
Acts 1:1-14
Hebrews 1:1-13 + 2:16-18
Luke 1:26-38


God has a definite plan for the salvation of all human beings. He reveals Himself in many ways as part of this plan. Several times in human history God revealed Himself through the angels. In the readings of today the presence and testimony of angel is very vital.

God involves with human history through covenants. In the Old Testament we see several covenants with individuals as well as with the community. In all covenants we see the showering of promises by God for the return of fidelity to Him. Abraham is one among the few who fulfilled all covenants and hence he was blessed with descendants who were like stars in the sky. Abraham proved his faith by believing in the promises which are seemingly unattainable. Abraham is a model and motivation to a life of faithfullness.

Ascension is the last act described in the New Testament where Jesus is physically present. In a short span of 33 years that He spent on earth, He revealed completely who God is. It is Mary who was the closest associate of this greatest act of God. Probably she would be the only human being who understood this perfectly. Naturally, she becomes the mother of all the progeny of Jesus who accept Him as the perfect revelation. As a perfect carrier of the perfect revelation, Mary is a perfect model and motivation to a life of faithfullness.

The theology of Incarnation is summarized in the prologue of the letter to the Hebrews. Though God chose many methods to reveal Himself, the perfect revelation took place in Jesus. He is superior to the greatest of all angels. Hence salvation is to be attained through Jesus. Today, faith is to be seen as the faith in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the first-born of all creatures. Mary is the person who first understood what incarnation is and she cooperated with it, thereby making every human being worthy of its promises.

God speaks to a humble virgin and seeks her permission to cure the sickness of the world. God’s ways are always mysterious. In the selection of Abraham, David and Mary, God chose unconventional paths and He had looked kindly upon them. The merit of the selected is in their proper response. God has impossible paths for everyone. It is the response of each one that matters. With God the impossible becomes possible. From Annunciation to Ascension, from the arrival to the departure of Jesus, the Son of God, Mary is the only human being who accompanied Him.

Abraham is known as the father of faith. Faith is the trust in God for the promises which are unattainable in human perception. There are human beings who could not trust God for the possibility of impossibilities. In history, Mary stands in the place of Abraham. But being a woman, she has a place higher than Abraham. Abraham listened to God and literally obeyed Him in all actions. He had faith in God who promised him progeny even at a very old age. Mary also listened to God and literally obeyed Him in all actions. She had faith in God who promised her progeny even at a very young age. For Abraham, the promise was a blessing and it would eventually lead him to happiness. He was blessed with the things he hoped for. But for Mary, the promise was never a blessing from a human point of view and it eventually led her to suffering. Having known this fact very clearly, Mary replied to the angel, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you have said.” The remembrance of the Annunciation prompts everyone to utter these words in one’s existential situations.