|The Coming (Again) of the Incarnate One|
The Annunciationthe announcement of grace and favor on the young maiden Marymarks the first time that the reality of the Incarnation was made known. Mary is "full of grace," explained John Paul II, "because it is precisely in her that the Incarnation of the Word, the hypostatic union of the Son of God with human nature, is accomplished and fulfilled" (RM 9). Because Mary gave herself to God, God gives himself to mankind. The Son of God became the Son of Man so that by grace we might become what he alone is by nature: a true son.
Imagine the awe and wonder that Mary felt as the angel addressed her as "Full of Grace." Advent is a time to contemplate and experience the same awesome, wondrous power in the coming of our Lord. It is a call to awaken, to look up, and to rejoice. In the words of St. Paul, from todays epistle: "Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand."