Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Every one of us understands what it means to love another human being. We know the joys as well as the sacrifices of love. And when you deeply love another person, you don't consider the cost, you do not consider it a choice—you just pull out all the stops! At times it seems irrational and mysterious and, at times, downright foolish. But deep down we feel…we know… it sounds like love.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation. The Gospel reading from Luke is the exchange between Mary and the angel Gabriel. The passage from Isaiah relates the prophecy of the virgin birth of a child named Emmanuel (Is 7: 14). It is a 'sign' from the Lord “deep as the nether world or high as the sky!”. It echoes the promise God made to King David in 2 Samuel 7 that he would raise up the Messiah from David’s own house to bring salvation to the people of Israel. This sounds altogether irrational and mysterious—even foolish. It sounds like love.
The second reading from Hebrews takes us more deeply into God's mysterious plan. It says “…a body you have prepared for me” (Heb 10:5) and “Behold, I come to do your will, O God” (Heb 10:9). The NAB says these words are “placed in the mouth of the Son at his incarnation.” No sin offering or sacrifice or holocaust could secure our salvation but, from all eternity, God planned the perfect sacrifice to accomplish this. In the costliest, most irrational and foolish manner, God pulled out all the stops for us. This sounds like love.
God never tires of loving us. God never stops to consider the cost. God just loves. In the coming days, we will watch as Jesus heads for Jerusalem fully aware that he will pay the ultimate price in service of love. Today, may we spend some time reflecting on how closely our way of loving others reflects God’s way of loving us. Let us pray that we be granted the grace to demonstrate love for others as God has loved us—from all eternity.
--Gail LymanMar. 25