Daily Readings Reflection for 3/25/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 3/25/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Isaiah 7:14. Psalm 40:7-8.8-9.10-11. Hebrews 10:4-10. (John
1:14) Luke 1:26-38.Lectionary #545:

Celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation of our Lord is a
welcome liturgical event during Lent. We have a chance to think and pray
about and with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  The Annunciation is the
centerpiece of the Marian mosaic that we have in the texts of the New
Testament.  They can be easily grouped into thirteen such pieces of the
mosaic, but the Annunciation is the one on which solid marian theology is
based.  We return to a principle given to us in Vatican II and in a recent
letter from the Congregation of Catholic Education: Scripture is the soul
of marian theology!

In the Annunciation as presented and written by Luke we see Mary’s
true characterization.  She responds with great intelligence and dialogues
with the Angel Gabriel.  She commits herself to God for the mission in life
to which she is called.  Her new name is given to her because she has
already been graced by God, hence, Luke says that she is kecharitomene,
that is blessed with graces and favored already before she receives the
call of God to give birth to the Messiah.  As a young woman she has great
courage; she is willing to risk, to adapt, and to change her own personal
plans in the engagement she has with Joseph of the lineage of David.  Her
questions, her listening, and her responses to the Angel demonstrate her
wisdom at such a young age. She is the right one to be asked to have a role
in the humanity of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among her people.

Luke is an omniscient author for he knows the full story of the life
of Jesus and that of his mother. He writes and describes the scene of the
Annunciation while seeing it in the light of the Resurrection–the ultimate
triumph of the Messiah over sin, suffering, and death.  Luke has her giving
the name Jesus to her Son–a popular name among her people which symbolizes
salvation.  Of course, all of the Gospels are written in retrospect after
the resurrection of Jesus.  The authors are divinely inspired and give us
the Good News about this special mother who gives birth by the
overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.  This perspective does not take away from
the pristine and primordial willful consent to God’s will for this young
woman.  She is fully aware of her choice and is no way coerced into making
it. Her “Let it be done to me according to your word” is an emphatic and
joyful whole-hearted and full-throated YES to God.

In Luke we learn how Mary speaks and voices her prophetic message in
the Magnificat her personal song and psalm.  Elizabeth her cousin declares
her blessed in another piece of the marian mosiac.  Each piece helps us
interpret the first and central mosaic piece of the Annunciation.  We pray
them and call them the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.  She has been formed
in her faith as an Israelite through the sacred scriptures of her people
the Jews.
She echoes every part of them in her Maginificat–the Torah, the Prophets,
the Writings (Psalms).

The liturgy has us sing or chant the following before reading this
beautiful Gospel: “The Word of God became man and lived among us and we
have seen his glory.” (John 1:14). Therein is contained Mary’s mystery of
love and fidelity to her role in God’s plan within the history of
salvation.  Amen.

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