Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/25/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In Mary and with Mary, God tells every one of us today, one more time and for ever: 'It is good that you exist. I will fill you with every Grace'. This is the certain sign, His Son is amongst us.

With this greeting and with this happy annunciation, in its truest sense, the Gospel is initiated.  The angel's first word is 'joy': the new joy that comes from God, from his irrecoverable gift for us and through us and amongst us.  Or better yet, this joy comes from 'Emanuel - God is with us' and He invites us to participate in divine communion with Him.

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Mary

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Mary

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/25/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

Keywords: Annunciation, Solemnity, Mary, Fiat, Magnificat, Mother of God, Congregation for the Clergy


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - As is our custom on Sundays and Feasts, we are honored to present to our readers and viewers throughout the globe the reflections on the Feast of the Solemnity of the Lord sent from the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy:

*****

"Referring to the Lord's words to Acaz, Isaiah wrote, 'Ask Yahweh your God for a sign' (Is 7:10) and going on further he related the Divine Promise 'The Lord will give you a sign' (Is 7:14).  The prophet's text is enclosed in the 'tension' between the human desire for a sign on the one hand, and on the other, the explicit Will of God to give a sign. 

This was the sign that was promised and longed for; it alludes to the Covenant that constitutes the entire story and the drama of the Old Testament.  The creation objectively represents the first sign of God's Covenant.  At the end of each day of creation in the Genesis account, God's satisfaction with His work is recorded: 'And God saw that it was good' (Gen 1:10).

If man's rise amongst creatures clearly tells us who is the interlocutor in God's Covenant, then the subsequent history of God with the people of Israel, testified by Isaiah, expresses another dimension of this Covenant; the Lord is totally involved with man.  The life of man, as Scripture testifies, doesn't represent an occasional episode in the cosmos. 

Of course, one can not remain silent about the painful human perception of our ambivalence before God.  Man recognises that he is constituent of both the desire for the Infinite, as promised, and also his own sins such that sometimes he doubts his own ultimate goodness.

God's response sounds both surprising and extraordinary 'the Lord Himself will give you a sign' (Is 7:14).  God has real power over human history and He does not abandon it.  He is the Lord who acts really and efficaciously in human history.  God does not revoke His initial plan.  On the contrary, he fulfils it going as far as to introduce man himself into that 'rest' that is the crowning act of His creation. 

It is for this end that Mary's great 'yes' was generated, to make certain that the last word on mankind, on life, on the world, on history and on evil itself is Hers!  Man exists as a precious asset and he is always regarded as a precious asset by God.  God is so humble that He desires to leave Himself enriched by the gift that we are for Him.  He is amazingly great enough to want the smallest 'yes' that we can give Him.

The results of God's salvific will manifest itself definitively from the design of the Covenant: 'God is with us'.  The gift of the Son represents the ultimate epiphany of that which God had started in the creation and then in the Covenant.  The Covenant is in fact, the sight of God's communion with man and of man with God. 

God's Will for man is so powerful that He is intimately attached to the human creature to assume human nature Himself. Therefore, this means that God's original dream for man, of which Acaz said 'I will not put the Lord to the test', is realised at the point that man becomes 'like God'.  In this exchange, the Incarnation of God and the divinisation of man to which God calls us, is the most sublime expression of communion with Him.

The letter to Hebrews that the Church has placed in the liturgy for this Solemnity affirms: 'And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all' (Heb 10:10).  The crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, which is the accomplishment of the unique revelatory dynamism of God, tells us of the irrevocability of the 'sign' given and of its extraordinary plan.  We are made to participate in the Holiness of God Himself: 'divinae naturae consortes'!

St Luke, narrating the dialogue of the Annunciation, refers to the sublime works pronounced by the angel, 'The Lord is with you' (Lk 1:28). This phrase becomes the specific reason from which the Blessed Virgin Mary is invited to joy.  It represents the start of the new Presence of God and is the reason why Gabriel greeted Mary saying to her: 'Rejoice Mary' (Lk 1:28). 

With this greeting and with this happy annunciation, in its truest sense, the Gospel is initiated.  The angel's first word is 'joy': the new joy that comes from God, from his irrecoverable gift for us and through us and amongst us.  Or better yet, this joy comes from 'Emanuel - God is with us' and He invites us to participate in divine communion with Him.

In Mary and with Mary, God tells every one of us today, one more time and for ever: 'It is good that you exist. I will fill you with every Grace'.  This is the certain sign, His Son is amongst us.

Citations of
Is 7,10-14: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9apphcg.htm
Is 8,10: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9apoooh.htm
He 10,4-10: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9ahyhsj.htm
Lc 1,26-38: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9bih1oa.htm

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Lent / Easter

Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Take our Lent quiz! See how much you know about the tradition of Lent! Take our Lent quiz, then challenge your friends. See how much you know about this special season in the Liturgical year. The quiz has just a few questions, but will certainly provide a quick ... continue reading


The Way of the Cross continues on Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In his strong identification with the poor and vulnerable, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that when we meet the needs of these least brothers and sisters, we are ultimately serving him. And when we - as individuals, churches, states and nations - do not adequately meet ... continue reading


Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How familiar are you with the Stations of the Cross? Take the Catholic Online survey now to share your answers to our questions. Your responses will help us serve you better by tailoring content that suits your needs. The survey is short and should take just 1 minute ... continue reading


'God hasn't forsaken me': Church of England to release short films addressing serious topics for Lent and Easter Watch

Image of The Church of England plans to launch a JustPray campaign throughout Lent, with its final video released on Easter Sunday (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Church of England is set to launch its latest campaign called the "Psalm 22 project," which will feature stories of former homeless and ex drug addicts who tackled some of life's most difficult trials. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Psalm 22 refers to the ... continue reading


10 important things to consider during Lent Watch

Image of What are our options during Lent? (Shutterstock)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Every year we give something up for Lent. Sometimes picking what to give up is hard and other times we consider doing something extra to really immerse ourselves in what God has for us - but what are our options? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lent isn't just ... continue reading


5 little-known facts about Lent you need to learn this Ash Wednesday Watch

Image of Lent is more than just fasting (Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Everyone knows that Mardi Gras kicks off the upcoming 40-day Lent, which honors the time Jesus fasted in the wilderness, but did you know there is more to it? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recently the Independent released their list of "5 things you might not ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday: 'Seek To Experience God's Presence Within' Watch

Image of

By F. K. Bartels

"You may ask me: 'But, does God exist? And if he exists does he really concern himself with us? Can we reach him?' It is, indeed, true that we cannot place God on the table, we cannot touch him or pick him up like an ordinary object. We must rediscover our capacity to ... continue reading


POPE'S MASS: Ash Wednesday (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The unofficial English translation to Pope Francis' prepared homily for the 2016 Ash Wednesday Mass: The Word of God, the beginning of the Lenten journey, addressed to the Church and to each of us invitations.The first is that of St. Paul: " Be reconciled to God " ( ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special Ash Wednesday message for 'Keep Lent' initiative Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis sent out his first audio message for "Keep Lent" over social media. 'Keep Lent' is an initiative of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii's youth ministry office. According to the Vatican Radio, "The initiative begins on Ash ... continue reading


Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Meant to Be More than a Party Watch

Image of Some have tried to argue that this term meant that people should discard their moral faith commitments and for the night and just

By Fr. Randy Sly

One could call this celebration the last gasp of Ordinary time as the Church anticipates the penitential Season of the forty days of Lent. Rich foods are consumed as pilgrims prepare for times of fasting, abstinence, confession and penance. Ironically, carnival ... continue reading


All Lent / Easter News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 5 of the best non-traditional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day
  • St. Valentine: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Stations of the Cross - Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to ...
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Prayer in Time of Anger HD Video
  • Saint Valentine and why we offer roses

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:4-10
4 'The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:1-13
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 10:8-13
8 What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 14th, 2016 Image

St. Valentine
February 14: Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint ... Read More