The Solemnity of the
Annunciation of the Lord
March 25, 2021 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.E., Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine
  Washington, D.C.

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Sunday Reading Meditations


The Annunciation is a feast of love: God’s infinite love for us! As we say in the creed: “The only Begotten Son of God […] For us men and for our salvation [he] came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” God became man! The most unimaginable thing has happened!

May the Holy Spirit always fill us with wonder at such a great mystery! May he make us sensitive to Christ’s presence and give us the grace of contemplating God’s glory. As today verse before the Gospel says, “The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory.” Beauty, goodness and truth became flesh!

This feast fills us with grace, joy and peace. Let us rejoice!

What should we say when we celebrate the incarnation of the Word of God? We say thank you! Thank you, Father, for sending us your Son! Thank you, Jesus, for assuming our human nature to save us! Thank you, Holy Spirit, for accomplishing the incarnation! Thank you, Mary, for your “yes” to God’s will! Thank you, Archangel Gabriel, for brining the good tidings!

In today’s Gospel, the archangel Gabriel says: “For nothing will be impossible for God” (Lk 1:37). Mary shows us that impossible things happen when we do God’s will. Anything can happen when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead our lives. Mary’s “yes” encourages us to say our “yes” to God’s will. Both today’s responsorial psalm and the second reading stress the importance of doing God’s will: “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” (Ps 40:9; “Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your will, O God” (Heb 10:7). This passage from the Letter to the Hebrews shows us that Mary’s “yes” is her participation in Son’s “yes” to his Father’s will.

The mystery of the Annunciation shows us that God fulfills his promises. Today’s first reading says: “[…] the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us!’” (Is 8:10). The fulfillment of the prophecies is a promise that God is going to fulfill our lives as he did Mary’s. Mary shows us that when we collaborate in the fulfillment of God’s plan, we reach the fullness of life.

We celebrate the Annunciation a few days before starting Holy Week. The passion, death and resurrection of Christ are the fulfillment of what begins with the annunciation by the archangel Gabriel to Mary. The cross is the highest point of the incarnation. The incarnation is the seed, the cross is the tree and the resurrection is the fruit.

“May we never lose our wonder,” as the song says, at beauty and greatness of the mystery of the incarnation.  Amen.