Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 08, 2024


Published on:

R/. See, I have come, Lord, to do your will

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. The word became flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen his glory.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

1.      The feast of Annunciation is in fact the dawn of salvation. It is a concrete instance of God’s Encounter with humans. It is a vivid act of God’s intervention in human life. But this encounter and intervention are totally unique and distinct from all the rest of the encounters and interventions.

2.      For the first time, God encounters the whole of humanity and intervenes in the entirety of human history. They are no more limited only to a particular nation, or to a chosen people. They are meant for all. The whole of humanity is taken into this story and history.

3.      Further, these encounters and intervention are not confined only to a specific time period. As instances and events, they may be history-bound. But their effect and fruit is salvation and this is beyond time and space. It is eternal. It is the kingdom of eternity.

4.      Still further, the encounter and intervention that are marked by the event of annunciation are direct and personal. The fact and act of announcing may be indirect as it involves the angel. But at that very moment, the Son of God directly and personally encounters and intervenes in human life. He inserts and immerses himself into their life through the virginal conception in Mary’s womb.

5.      It is no more an encounter and intervention through this or that event or person. It is God Himself totally becoming one with the humans. He mingles Himself not only in some happenings but into her own blood, her own flesh, her own humanity. He is no more a God who acts “from heaven” only but also directly “from the earth”. Earth becomes his “home address” on mission and sojourn.

6.      Thus, annunciation is crucial as the inception of incarnation. The event of annunciation rightly marks the significance of Mary in our salvation. Her positive response to God’s plan, her obedience, surrender, and total cooperation to the mission of salvation are exemplary. Her all-time “fiat’, the Yes of all times, announcing, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word” is a turning point.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.