The Annunciation of the Lord

The God’s alliance with the man

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God … to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph … and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end”. But Mary said to the angel “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply “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, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age …for nothing will be impossible for God”. Mary said “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”. Then the angel departed from her. Lk 1,26-38

In the Old Testament breathes a continuous, unceasing courtship of God for the people of Israel, which accept with pleasure all the divine attention towards them, but they behave like a girl somewhat frivolous. From time to time they allow some escapades, as they know that God will ever forgive them, because he is too much in love. For his part he acts as a patient boyfriend, sure of himself and of the outcome of his courtship. This love relationship is beautifully captured by the prophet Hosea: “I will espouse you to me forever; I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity” (Hos 2,21-22). When the times have been ripe, this prophecy was fulfilled and God has for ever married  the humanity, with which he generates a son, Jesus Christ, who embodies the human nature of the mother and the divine one of the Father. It is the definitive alliance of God with the man, for which implementation he needed the “Yes” of Mary. The today’s embassy of the archangel Gabriel not merely announces a temporary coming of the Holy Spirit, a momentary outpouring limited to the birth of Jesus, who will be the Savior of the mankind. The mystery of the incarnation is infinitely of more vast amplitude and its glory extends to all the ages. Mary has understood it so well, such that she explodes in the Magnificat by the prophecy “From now on all ages will call me blessed” (Lk 1,48). She realizes that the divine plan of salvation and the history of the world will wind around her person. All of this has been made possible by the “Yes”. That’s because Mary is the vehicle of the divine grace! God cannot deny anything to her, because he is in love and because he is grateful.

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