Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 – The Annunciation of the Lord

“Hail, full of grace.”  (Luke 1:28)

annunciationHere is part of a homily about this glorious event by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

“You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.”

“The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.”

“Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.”

“Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.”

“Why do you delay, why are you afraid?…Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.”

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord, ”  she says, “be it done to me according to Your Word.”

“Jesus, let Your will be done in me as it was in Your holy Mother.”

Consider reading:

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10

Psalm 40:7-11

Hebrews 10:4-10

Prayer:

Lord, give us the courage to ignore the demands of society that surrounds us.

Help us to realize that there is nothing on this earth more important than You.

Teach us the ways of Your Mother Mary so that we too might be willing to give up our own plans.

And show us the path that You lay before us so that we too might say “Yes.” to Your will just as Mary did.

Amen

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