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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-25-14, SOL, Annunciation of the Lord
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-25-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/24/2014 8:07:53 PM PDT by Salvation

 

March 25, 2014

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

 

 

Reading 1 Is 7:10-14; 8:10

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

reading 2 Heb 10:4-10

Brothers and sHsters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! 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,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
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.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: blessedvirginmary; catholic; lent; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 03/24/2014 8:07:53 PM PDT by Salvation
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2 posted on 03/24/2014 8:09:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8-10

The Sign of Immanu-el (Continuation)


[7:10] Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, [11] “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let
it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” [12] But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I
will not put the Lord to the test.” [13] And he said, “Hear then, O house of David!
Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? [14] Therefore
the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and
bear a son, and shall call his name Immanu-el, [8:10] which means ‘God is with
us.’”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

7:10-17. Even though the king did not listen, the Lord offers him a sign that he
has no reason to fear the threats made by the kings of Israel and Syria: a mai-
den will conceive and bear a son, who will be called Immanuel; within a few years,
before the boy reaches the age of reason, the two kingdoms that Ahaz fears will
be laid low, and Judah will enjoy even greater prosperity than it had prior to the
Assyrian threat.

The prophet’s words, which at the time and taken literally would have been easy
enough for the protagonists to understand, can have further significance: and as
Revelation develops this becomes clearer. Verse 14 has three elements in it
which, taken separately and together, can be read as a sign of peace and sal-
vation—the mother, the child, and his name, “Immanuel”. The mother is a maiden,
that is, a young woman who has had no children previously. This could refer to
the young wife of Ahaz or to some other young woman. In any event, by setting
her pregnancy in the context of a sign given to the king, the point is that some-
thing quite important is involved. It is not surprising, therefore, that, to stress
this, later interpreters, particularly those who translated the text into Greek in
the second century BC, translated the Hebrew word for “young woman” into the
Greek word for “virgin”. Later, the evangelists St Matthew (Mt 1:23) and St Luke
(Lk 1:26-31) indicated that the virginity of Mary was the sign that her son was
the Messiah, the true God with us, who brings salvation.

The child, the son, is the most significant part of the sign. If the prophecy refers
to the son of Ahaz, the future King Hezekiah, it would be indicating that his birth
will be a sign of divine protection, because it will mean that the dynasty will con-
tinue. If it refers to another child, not yet known, the prophet’s words would mean
that the child’s birth could manifest hope that “God was going to be with us”, and
his reaching the age of discretion (v. 16) would indicate the advent of peace; the
child’s birth would, then, be the sign that “God is with us”. In the New Testament,
the deeper meaning of these words find fulfillment: Mary is Virgin and Mother,
and her Son is not a symbol of God’s protection but God himself who dwells
among us.

The word “Immanuel” is a prophetic indication of the revelation that the child’s
birth implies, just as the names of Isaiah’s sons also contain revelation — Shear-
jashub, which means “a remnant shall return” (7:3), and Maher-shalal-hash-baz,
meaning “the spoil speeds, the prey hastens” (8:1-3). In the New Testament, the
name conveys the joyful news that Jesus is truly “God with us”.

Christian tradition has treated this lsaian oracle with great reverence: “Learn from
the prophet himself how all this could come to pass. Does it, perhaps, follow the
laws of nature? Absolutely not, replies the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin.... What a
miracle! A virgin will become a mother and remain a virgin! [...] It is fitting that he
who enters into human life to save all mankind [...] should be born of a woman of
perfect integrity who has given herself wholly to Him” (St Gregory of Nyssa, “In
Diem Natalem Christi”, 1136).

Therefore, expounding the Church’s interpretation, the Second Vatican Council
has this to say: “The Holy Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament, as
well as ancient Tradition, show the role of the Mother of the Savior in the econo-
my of salvation in an ever clearer light and draw attention to it. The books of the
Old Testament describe the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ in-
to the world was slowly prepared. These earliest documents, as they are read in
the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation, bring the
figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer light. When
it is looked at in this way, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the pro-
mise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall
into sin (cf. Gen 3:15). Likewise she is the Virgin who shall conceive and bear a
son, whose name will be called Immanuel (Is 7:14; Mic 5:2-3; Mt 1:22-23). She
stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and
receive salvation from Him. With her the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a
long expectation of the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new economy es-
tablished, when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in
the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin” (”Lumen Gentium”, 55).

The fact that the oracle was spoken in a specific historical context does not
mean that it does not have a more transcendental, that is, messianic meaning;
in the light of salvation history, past events should be read as part of God’s plan
of salvation and of its climax, the advent of Jesus Christ. Only by adopting this
viewpoint can we see that what happened in the Old Testament, taken as a
whole and many of the stages in it, are a prophecy of New Testament events,
a “preparation for the Gospel”. Therefore, a Christian reading of the text, which
in a way enjoys “hindsight” and gives a messianic interpretation to the Imma-
nuel Oracle, is perfectly compatible with its literal meaning.

The words of the prophet, which find fulfillment in Christ, have been given many
lovely spiritual interpretations: “This Immanuel, born of the Virgin, eats curds and
honey, and asks each of us to provide him with the curds that he eats [...]. Our
good deeds, our sweet and noble words, are the honey eaten by the Immanuel
born of the Virgin [...]. For truly he consumes our good words and intentions and
actions, and feeds us, in turn, with a spiritual food that is greater and divine. As
soon as we realize that to welcome the Savior is a blessing, and open wide the
doors of our hearts, we will prepare for him the ‘honey’ and all his feast, and he
will bring us to the great feast of the Father in the kingdom of heaven, that is in
Christ Jesus” (Origen, “Homilae In Isaiam”, 2, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 03/24/2014 8:15:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Hebrews 10:4-10

The Sacrifices of the Old Covenant Could Not Take Away Sins (Continuation)


[4] For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.

Christ’s Offering of Himself Has Infinite Value


[5] Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said,

“Sacrifices and offerings Thou hast not desired,
but a body hast Thou prepared for Me;
[6] in burnt offerings and sin offerings Thou hast taken no pleasure.
[7] Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God,’
as it is written of Me in the roll of the book.”

[8] When He said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure
in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered
according to the law), [9] then He added, “Lo, I have come to do Thy will.” He
abolishes the first in order to establish the second. [10] And by that will we have
been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

2-4. These verses repeat what is said in verse 1 and in 9:12-13. “Tell me, then,
what is the point of having more victims and more sacrifices when a single victim
would suffice for atonement for sins [...]. Multiple sacrifices in effect show that
the Jews needed to atone for their sins because they had failed to find forgive-
ness: it points to the inefficacy of the victims offered, rather than to their power”
(Chrysostom, “Hom. on Heb.”, 17). The ultimate reason for this inefficacy is
explained by a striking statement: “It is impossible that the blood of bulls and
goats should take away sins” (v. 4). There is here an echo of those proclama-
tions of the prophets which reminded the people that true purification comes
not from external actions but from conversion of heart (cf. Jeremiah 2:22; 4:14;
11:15; Micah 6:7-8; Psalm 51:18-19; etc.).

And yet, is it not the case that the priests of the New Testament renew Jesus’
sacrifice in the Mass everyday? St. John Chrysostom answers: “Yes, that is
true, but not because we regard the original sacrifice, Christ’s sacrifice, as
ineffective or impotent. We priests repeat it to commemorate His death. We
have but one victim, Christ—not many victims [...]. There is but one and the
same sacrifice [...], one Christ whole and entire, here as elsewhere, the same
everywhere—the same Christ on all the altars. Just as Jesus Christ, although
offered in different places, has only one body, so everywhere there is but one
sacrifice [...]. What we do is a commemoration of Christ’s offering, for at the
Supper He said, ‘Do this in memory of Me.’ Therefore, we do not offer, as the
high priest of the Law did, a new, additional victim: it is not one sacrifice more,
but always the same one” (”Hom. on Heb.”, 17).

The Mass “is the sacrifice of Christ, offered to the Father with the cooperation
of the Holy Spirit—an offering of infinite value, which perpetuates the work of the
Redemption in us and surpasses the sacrifices of the Old Law. The holy Mass
brings us face to face with one of the central mysteries of our faith, because it
is the gift of the Blessed Trinity to the Church. It is because of this that we can
consider the Mass as the center and the source of a Christian’s spiritual life. It
is the final end of all the Sacraments” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
86-87).

5-10. This passage carries a quotation from Psalm 40:7-8, but one taken from
the Greek translation, the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew. Where the Hebrew
says, “Thou hast opened My ears”, the Greek reads, “a body Thou hast prepared
for Me”. The difference is not substantial, because the Hebrew expression points
to the docility and obedience of the speaker, who is the Messiah Himself. The
Greek translation gives the sentence a more general meaning: God has not only
opened the ears of the Messiah; He has given Him life as a man (cf. Philippians
2:7). The words of this Psalm “allow us as it were to sound the unfathomable
depths of this self-abasement of the Word, His humiliation of Himself for love of
men even to death on the Cross [...]. Why this obedience, this self-abasement,
this suffering? The Creed gives us the answer: ‘for us men and for our salvation’
Jesus came down from Heaven so as to give man full entitlement to ascend (to
Heaven) and by becoming a son in the Son to regain the dignity he lost through
sin [...]. Let us welcome Him. Let us say to Him, ‘Here I am; I have come to
do Your will’” (Bl. John Paul II, “General Audience”, 25 March 1981).

The author of the letter, elaborating on the text of the psalm, asserts that the
Messiah’s sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of the Old Law, unbloody as
well as bloody, sin-offerings as well as burnt offerings as they were called in the
liturgy (cf. Leviticus 5;6; 7:27). The sacrifice of Christ, who has “come into the
world”, has replaced both kinds of ancient sacrifice. It consisted in perfectly
doing the will of His Father (cf. John 4:34; 6:38; 8:29; 14:31), even though He
was required to give His life to the point of dying on Calvary (Matthew 26:42;
John 10:18; Hebrews 5:7-9). Christ “came into the world” to offer Himself up to
suffering and death for the redemption of the world. “He knew that all the sacri-
fices of goats and bulls offered to God in ancient times were incapable of making
satisfaction for the sins of men; He knew that a divine person was needed to do
that [...]. My Father (Jesus Christ said), all the victims offered You up to this are
not enough and never will be enough to satisfy Your justice; You gave Me a body
capable of experiencing suffering, so that You might be placated by the shedding
of My blood, and men thereby saved; ‘ecce venio, here I am, ready’; I accept
everything and in all things do I submit to Your will. The lower part of His human
nature naturally felt repugnance and reacted against living and dying in so much
pain and opprobium, but its rational part, which was fully subject to the Father’s
will, had the upper hand; it accepted everything, and therefore Jesus Christ began
to suffer, from that point onwards, all the anguish and pain which He would under-
go in the course of His life. That is how our Divine Redeemer acted from the very
first moments of His coming into the world. So, how should we behave towards
Jesus when, come to the use of reason, we begin to know the sacred mysteries
of Redemption through the light of faith?” (St. Alphonsus, “Advent Meditations”,
II, 5).

The Psalm speaks of “the roll of the book”: this may refer to a specific book or
else to the Old Testament in general (cf. Luke 24:27; John 5:39, 46, 47).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 03/24/2014 8:16:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God


[26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee
named Nazareth, [27] to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [28] And he came to her
and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” [29] But she was greatly trou-
bled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might
be.

[30] And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God. [31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and
you shall call His name Jesus. [32] He will be great, and will be called the Son
of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David,
[33] and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there
will be no end.”

[34] And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?”
[35] And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the po-
wer of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be
called holy, the Son of God. [36] And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her
old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was
called barren. [37] For with God nothing will be impossible.” [38] And Mary said,
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your
word.” And the angel departed from her.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

26-38. Here we contemplate our Lady who was “enriched from the first instant of
her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness; [...] the virgin of
Nazareth is hailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as ‘full of grace’
(cf. Luke 1:28), and to the heavenly messenger she replies, ‘Behold the hand-
maid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38). Thus
the daughter of Adam, Mary, consenting to the word of God, became the Mother
of Jesus. Committing herself wholeheartedly to God’s saving will and impeded
by no sin, she devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person
and work of her Son, under and with Him, serving the mystery of Redemption,
by the grace of Almighty God. Rightly, therefore, the Fathers (of the Church)
see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating
in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 56).

The annunciation to Mary and incarnation of the Word constitute the deepest
mystery of the relationship between God and men and the most important event
in the history of mankind: God becomes man, and will remain so forever, such is
the extent of His goodness and mercy and love for all of us. And yet on the day
when the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed frail human nature in
the pure womb of the Blessed Virgin, it all happened quietly, without fanfare of
any kind.

St. Luke tells the story in a very simple way. We should treasure these words
of the Gospel and use them often, for example, practising the Christian custom
of saying the Angelus every day and reflecting on the five Joyful Mysteries of the
Rosary.

27. God chose to be born of a virgin; centuries earlier He disclosed this through
the prophet Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23). God, “before all ages made
choice of, and set in her proper place, a mother for His only-begotten Son from
whom He, after being made flesh, should be born in the blessed fullness of time:
and He continued His persevering regard for her in preference to all other crea-
tures, to such a degree that for her alone He had singular regard” (Pius IX, “Inef-
fabilis Deus,” 2). This privilege granted to our Lady of being a virgin and a mother
at the same time is a unique gift of God. This was the work of the Holy Spirit
“who at the conception and the birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as
to impart fruitfulness to her while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity” (”St.
Pius V Catechism,” I, 4, 8). Paul VI reminds us of this truth of faith: “We believe
that the Blessed Mary, who ever enjoys the dignity of virginity, was the Mother of
the incarnate Word, of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (”Creed of the People of
God”, 14).

Although many suggestions have been made as to what the name Mary means,
most of the best scholars seem to agree that Mary means “lady”. However, no
single meaning fully conveys the richness of the name.

28. “Hail, full of grace”: literally the Greek text reads “Rejoice!”, obviously referring
to the unique joy over the news which the angel is about to communicate.

“Full of grace”: by this unusual form of greeting the archangel reveals Mary’s
special dignity and honor. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church “taught that
this singular, solemn and unheard-of-greeting showed that all the divine graces
reposed in the Mother of God and that she was adorned with all the gifts of the
Holy Spirit”, which meant that she “was never subject to the curse”, that is, was
preserved from all sin. These words of the archangel in this text constitute one
of the sources which reveal the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (cf.
Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus”; Paul VI, “Creed of the People of God”).

“The Lord is with you!”: these words are not simply a greeting (”the Lord be with
you”) but an affirmation (”the Lord is with you”), and they are closely connected
with the Incarnation. St. Augustine comments by putting these words on the
archangel’s lips: “He is more with you than He is with me: He is in your heart,
He takes shape within you, He fills your soul, He is in your womb” (”Sermo De
Nativitate Domini”, 4).

Some important Greek manuscripts and early translations add at the end of the
verse: “Blessed are you among women!”, meaning that God will exalt Mary over
all women. She is more excellent than Sarah, Hannah, Deborah, Rachel, Judith,
etc., for only she has the supreme honor of being chosen to be the Mother of
God.

29-30. Our Lady is troubled by the presence of the archangel and by the confu-
sion truly humble people experience when they receive praise.

30. The Annunciation is the moment when our Lady is given to know the voca-
tion which God planned for her from eternity. When the archangel sets her mind
at ease by saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary,” he is helping her to overcome that
initial fear which a person normally experiences when God gives him or her a
special calling. The fact that Mary felt this fear does not imply the least trace
of imperfection in her: hers is a perfectly natural reaction in the face of the super-
natural. Imperfection would arise if one did not overcome this fear or rejected the
advice of those in a position to help — as St. Gabriel helped Mary.

31-33. The archangel Gabriel tells the Blessed Virgin Mary that she is to be the
Mother of God by reminding her of the words of Isaiah which announced that the
Messiah would be born of a virgin, a prophecy which will find its fulfillment in Mary
(cf. Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:14).

He reveals that the Child will be “great”: His greatness comes from His being
God, a greatness He does not lose when He takes on the lowliness of human
nature. He also reveals that Jesus will be the king of the Davidic dynasty sent by
God in keeping with His promise of salvation; that His Kingdom will last forever,
for His humanity will remain forever joined to His divinity; that “He will be called
Son of the Most High”, that is that He really will be the Son of the Most High
and will be publicly recognized as such, that is, the Child will be the Son of God.

The archangel’s announcement evokes the ancient prophecies which foretold
these prerogatives. Mary, who was well-versed in Sacred Scripture, clearly rea-
lized that she was to be the Mother of God.

34-38. Commenting on this passage, Bl. John Paul II said: “’Virgo fidelis’, the
faithful Virgin. What does this faithfulness of Mary mean? What are the dimen-
sions of this faithfulness? The first dimension is called search. Mary was faithful
first of all when she began, lovingly, to seek the deep sense of God’s plan in her
and for the world. ‘Quomodo fiet?’ How shall this be?, she asked the Angel of the
Annunciation [...].”

“The second dimension of faithfulness is called reception, acceptance. The quo-
modo fiet?’ is changed, on Mary’s lips, to a ‘fiat’: Let it be done, I am ready, I ac-
cept. This is the crucial moment of faithfulness, the moment in which man per-
ceives that he will never completely understand the ‘how’: that there are in God’s
plan more areas of mystery than of clarity; that is, however he may try, he will
never succeed in understanding it completely [...].”

“The third dimension of faithfulness is consistency to live in accordance with what
one believes; to adapt one’s own life to the object of one’s adherence. To accept
misunderstanding, persecutions, rather than a break between what one practises
and what one believes: this is consistency[...].”

“But all faithfulness must pass the most exacting test, that of duration. Therefore,
the fourth dimension of faithfulness is constancy. It is easy to be consistent for a
day or two. It is difficult and important to be consistent for one’s whole life. It is
easy to be consistent in the hour of enthusiasm, it is difficult to be so in the hour
of tribulation. And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole life can be
called faithfulness. Mary’s ‘fiat’ in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent
‘fiat’ that she repeats at the foot of the Cross” (”Homily in Mexico City Cathedral”,
26 January 1979).

34. Mary believed in the archangel’s words absolutely; she did not doubt as Ze-
chariah had done (cf. 1:18). Her question, “How can this be?”, expresses her
readiness to obey the will of God even though at first sight it implied a contradic-
tion: on the one hand, she was convinced that God wished her to remain a virgin;
on the other, here was God also announcing that she would become a mother.
The archangel announces God’s mysterious design, and what had seemed im-
possible, according to the laws of nature, is explained by a unique intervention
on the part of God.

Mary’s resolution to remain a virgin was certainly something very unusual, not in
line with the practice of righteous people under the Old Covenant, for, as St. Au-
gustine explains, “particularly attentive to the propagation and growth of the peo-
ple of God, through whom the Prince and Savior of the world might be prophesied
and be born, the saints were obliged to make use of the good of matrimony” (”De
Bono Matrimonii”, 9, 9). However, in the Old Testament, there were some who, in
keeping with God’s plan, did remain celibate — for example, Jeremiah, Elijah, Eli-
seus and John the Baptist. The Blessed Virgin, who received a very special inspi-
ration of the Holy Spirit to practise virginity, is a first-fruit of the New Testament,
which will establish the excellence of virginity over marriage while not taking from
the holiness of the married state, which it raises to the level of a sacrament (cf.
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 48).

35. The “shadow” is a symbol of the presence of God. When Israel was journe-
ying through the wilderness, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle and a cloud co-
vered the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:34-36). And when God gave Moses the
tablets of the Law, a cloud covered Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:15-16); and also, at
the Transfiguration of Jesus the voice of God the Father was heard coming out of
a cloud (Luke 9:35).

At the moment of the Incarnation the power of God envelops our Lady — an ex-
pression of God’s omnipotence. The Spirit of God — which, according to the ac-
count in Genesis (1:2), moved over the face of the waters, bringing things to life
— now comes down on Mary. And the fruit of her womb will be the work of the Ho-
ly Spirit. The Virgin Mary, who herself was conceived without any stain of sin (cf.
Bl. Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus”) becomes, after the Incarnation, a new tabernacle
of God. This is the mystery we recall every day when saying the Angelus.

38. Once she learns of God’s plan, our Lady yields to God’s will with prompt obe-
dience, unreservedly. She realizes the disproportion between what she is going
to become — the Mother of God — and what she is — a woman. However, this is
what God wants to happen and for Him nothing is impossible; therefore no one
should stand in His way. So Mary, combining humility and obedience, responds
perfectly to God’s call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done ac-
cording to your word.”

“At the enchantment of this virginal phrase, the Word became flesh” (St. J. Escri-
va, “Holy Rosary”, first joyful mystery). From the pure body of Mary, God shaped
a new body, He created a soul out of nothing, and the Son of God united Himself
with this body and soul: prior to this He was only God; now He is still God but al-
so man. Mary is now the Mother of God. This truth is a dogma of faith, first defined
by the Council of Ephesus (431). At this point she also begins to be the spiritual
Mother of all mankind. What Christ says when He is dying — ‘Behold, your son...,
behold, your mother” (John 19:26-27) — simply promulgates what came about si-
lently at Nazareth. “With her generous ‘fiat’ (Mary) became, through the working
of the Spirit, the Mother of God, but also the Mother of the living, and, by receiving
into her womb the one Mediator, she became the true Ark of the Covenant and
true Temple of God” (Paul VI, “Marialis Cultus”, 6).

The Annunciation shows us the Blessed Virgin as perfect model of “purity” (the
RSV “I have no husband” is a euphemism); of “humility” (”Behold, I am the hand-
maid of the Lord”); of “candor” and “simplicity” (”How can this be?”); of “obedi-
ence” and “lively faith” (”Let it be done to me according to your word”). “Following
her example of obedience to God, we can learn to serve delicately without being
slavish. In Mary, we don’t find the slightest trace of the attitude of the foolish vir-
gins, who obey, but thoughtlessly. Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants,
ponders what she doesn’t fully understand and asks about what she doesn’t know.
Then she gives herself completely to doing the divine will: ‘Behold, I am the hand-
maid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word’. Isn’t that marvel-
lous? The Blessed Virgin, our teacher in all we do, shows us here that obedience
to God is not servile, does not bypass our conscience. We should be inwardly
moved to discover the ‘freedom of the children of God’ (cf. Romans 8: 21)” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 173).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 03/24/2014 8:17:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Isaiah 7:10-14,8:10 ©

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’

  Then he said:

Listen now, House of David:

are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men

without trying the patience of my God, too?

The Lord himself, therefore,

will give you a sign.

It is this: the maiden is with child

and will soon give birth to a son

whom she will call Immanuel,

a name which means ‘God is with us.’


Psalm

Psalm 39:7-11 ©

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,

  but an open ear.

You do not ask for holocaust and victim.

  Instead, here am I.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

In the scroll of the book it stands written

  that I should do your will.

My God, I delight in your law

  in the depth of my heart.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Your justice I have proclaimed

  in the great assembly.

My lips I have not sealed;

  you know it, O Lord.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

I have not hidden your justice in my heart

  but declared your faithful help.

I have not hidden your love and your truth

  from the great assembly.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.


Second reading

Hebrews 10:4-10 ©

Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what Christ said, on coming into the world:

You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,

prepared a body for me.

You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;

then I said,

just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,

‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’

Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn1:14

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

The Word became flesh,

he lived among us,

and we saw his glory.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!


Gospel

Luke 1:26-38 ©

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.


6 posted on 03/24/2014 8:27:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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[Chaput:] Lent and the Road Less Traveled
Just a Little talk with Jesus – Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent
Every Round Goes Higher, Higher! – A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent A Lenten Meditation on the Cross as a Place of Love, even joy
Ten Tips for the Best Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Station Churches of Rome - Ash Wednesday - Santa Sabina (LIVE coverage 10:30 am)

EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app
Make Your Lent Beautiful with Lent at Ephesus
Ancient Lenten pilgrimage comes to life through new book
Detox Your Soul This Lent
Lent is coming: Time to prepare Printable Lent Worksheet
Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

7 posted on 03/24/2014 8:48:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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40 Days for Life -- March 3 through April 13 -- Pray to End Abortion
8 posted on 03/24/2014 8:49:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 03/24/2014 9:05:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 03/24/2014 9:06:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

11 posted on 03/24/2014 9:07:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The 1961 Missal says to use the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


12 posted on 03/24/2014 9:08:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

13 posted on 03/24/2014 9:09:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 03/24/2014 9:09:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 03/24/2014 9:10:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph


Novena to Saint Joseph

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)

St. Joseph Novena

O good father Joseph! I beg you,  by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


16 posted on 03/24/2014 9:11:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pope's Intentions

March 2014

Universal: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

For Evangelization: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

17 posted on 03/24/2014 9:12:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

The Annunciation of the Lord - Solemnity

Commentary of the day
Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin, § 9 ; SC 80

"Hail, full of grace!"

This woman will be the Mother of God, the door to light, source of life; she will reduce to oblivion the judgement that weighed on Eve. “The rich among the people seek the face” of this woman, “the kings of the nations shall pay her homage”, they shall “offer gifts”..., yet the glory of the Mother of God is an interior glory: the fruit of her womb.

O woman, so worthy of love, thrice happy, “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Daughter of David the king and Mother of God, King of the universe, masterpiece in whom the Creator rejoices...: you are to be nature's full achievement. For you life is not yours; you were not born for yourself alone; but your life is to be God's. You came into the world for him, you will serve for the salvation of all people, fulfilling God's design established from the beginning: the incarnation of the Word and our own divinization. Your whole desire is to feed on the words of God, to be strengthened by their sap, like “a green olive tree in the house of God”, “like a tree planted by running water”, you are the “tree of life” who “yielded its fruit in due season”...

He who is infinite, limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the cherubim... You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream”, that is to say the waves of the Spirit's gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.

( Biblical references : Ps 44[45],13; 71[72],11.10; Mt 2,11; Lk 1,42; Is 62,5; Ps 51[52],10; 1,3; cf Gn 2,9, Rv 22,2; cf Ez 44,2; Ps 79[80],2; cf Sg 1,4; Ps 45[46],5; Sg 4,7)


18 posted on 03/24/2014 9:24:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Psalm 40:7-11
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38

To prefer man to God: A strange and unhappy slavery is that of a man who seeks to please other men. I vow never to do anything nor to leave anything undone because of what people think. This will set up in me a great interior peace.

-- St. Claude de la Colombiere


19 posted on 03/24/2014 9:25:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

20 posted on 03/24/2014 9:26:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


21 posted on 03/24/2014 9:27:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation of the Lord
Solemnity
March 25th

Readings - History - Family Observance - Activities with Children - Mary's Flowers
Icon - Incarnation -
Homily of John Paul II, 3/25/00 - Homily of John Paul II, Aug 15, 2004

The Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Annunciate
1494-97, Tempera on wood,
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Readings and Collect:
Collect:
O God, who willed that your Word
should take on the reality of human flesh
in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray,
that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, "Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test." And Isaiah said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanu-el. Take counsel together, but it will come to nought; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire;
but thou hast given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering thou hast not required.
Then I said, "Lo, I come;

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

In the roll of the book it is written of me;
I delight to do thy will,
O my God; thy law is within my heart."

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;
lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD.

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

I have not hid thy saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation;
I have not concealed thy steadfast love
and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10
For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said, "Sacrifices and offerings Thou hast not desired, but a body hast Thou prepared for Me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings Thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God', as it is written of Me in the roll of the book." When He said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then He added, "Lo, I have come to do Thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "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, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

The Annunciation
T
he Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, is one of the most important in the Church calendar. It celebrates the actual Incarnation of Our Savior the Word made flesh in the womb of His mother, Mary.

The biblical account of the Annunciation is in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke, 26-56. Saint Luke describes the annunciation given by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Incarnation of God.

Here is recorded the "angelic salutation" of Gabriel to Mary, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum - Lk 1:28), and Mary's response to God's will, "Let it be done to me according to thy word" (fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum) (v. 38)

This "angelic salutation" is the origin of the "Hail Mary" prayer of the Rosary and the Angelus (the second part of the prayer comes from the words of salutation of Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation).

The Angelus, a devotion that daily commemmorates the Annunciation, consists of three Hail Marys separated by short versicles. It is said three times a day -- morning, noon and evening -- traditionally at the sound of a bell. The Angelus derives its name from the first word of the versicles, Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae (The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary).

Mary's exultant hymn, the Magnificat, found in Luke 1:46-55, has been part of the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, at Vespers (evening prayer), and has been repeated nightly in churches, convents and monasteries for more than a thousand years.

The Church's celebration of the Annunciation is believed to date to the early 5th century, possibly originating at about the time of the Council of Ephesus (c 431). Earlier names for the Feast were Festum Incarnationis, and Conceptio Christi, and in the Eastern Churches, the Annunciation is a feast of Christ, but in the Latin Church it is a feast of Mary. The Annunciation has always been celebrated on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas Day.

Two other feasts honoring Our Lord's mother, the Assumption (August 15), and the Immaculate Conception (December 8), are celebrated as Holy Days of Obligation in the United States and many other countries. New Year's Day, January 1, is observed as a Solemnity of Mary. The Annunciation was a Holy Day throughout the Universal Church until the early 20th century. Many Catholics who are deeply concerned with the defense of the life of unborn children believe it would be fitting if the Feast of the Annunciation were restored to this status. Although it seems unlikely that it will be added to the Church calendar as a Holy Day of Obligation, we can certainly take on the "obligation" ourselves to attend Mass. In any case, it is most appropriate that we encourage special celebrations in the "Domestic Church".

One sign of the significance this Christian feast had throughout Western culture is that New Year's Day was for centuries celebrated on March 25. It was believed by some ancient Christian writers that God created the world on March 25, and that the fall of Adam and the Crucifixion also took place March 25. The secular calendar was changed to begin the year on January 1 (in 1752 in England and colonies, somewhat earlier on the continent).

Another remnant of the historic universality of Christianity in the West is the use of BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini The Year of Our Lord) to denote periods of time in history. There has been an attempt in some circles to change BC to BCE (before the common era), and AD to CE (common era) -- and although it is true that the religious significance of our system of dating has been effectively obliterated -- nevertheless, Christians and non-Christians alike consent to the birth of Christ as the "fulcrum" of the dating the events of human history.

Family observance of the Annunciation

In families with young children, this feast would be a good time to begin teaching youngsters important lessons about the inestimable value God places on human life.

First, that He loved us so much that He chose to become one of us to take on our humanity so completely that He "became flesh", as utterly weak and dependent as any human infant is. Second, God became "like us in all things except sin" at the moment of His conception in Mary's womb, not at some later time. The Feast of the Annunciation is a celebration of the actual Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Children may, quite naturally, think that the birth of Jesus is the time when Our Savior first "became Man", especially since Christmas has become the Christian holiday in our culture. We understand best what we can see, what is visible. The invisible, the hidden, is no less real for our lack of seeing it. (We think of the baby in its mother's womb, known and felt, though unseen, only to her.)

Even very young children can know the truth about the growth of a baby inside its mother's body, especially if the mother of the family (or an aunt, perhaps) happens to be pregnant on the holiday. The nine months' wait from March 25 to December 25 for the Baby to be born would be interesting to most children. (God made no special rules for His own bodily development!) What better way than the reading first chapter of Luke to gently begin teaching children about the beginning of each new human life?

Children should be told how important it is to every person that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1), and parents can find this feast a valuable teaching moment.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Article 3 of the Creed: "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (§436-511), should be read by parents. This will not only give adults a timely review of Catholic doctrine, but it can be a great help to us in transmitting important truths of the faith to our children. The summary at the end can help formulate points we want to emphasize. Excerpts from the Catechism could be read aloud to older children.

Some other lessons that can be drawn from this important feast on the Church's Calendar are:

Family Prayers and Readings


Activities with children

Have children draw an Annunciation scene, with the Trinity present Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as Mary and the Angel Gabriel. Another idea would be to make the figures from clay or play-dough, and make a "tableau" using a shallow box to represent Mary's house.

Mention that Christianity is unique in recognizing the Incarnation of the God as Jesus Christ, the Son. God's taking on a human body, while being truly and fully divine, is the reason why artistic representations of Jesus, Mary, etc., are not "idols" or "graven images" prohibited by the First Commandment. (See Catechism § 476, 466). Catholics who properly reverence images of sacred figures are actually reverencing the Person whom the image represents, not the physical object painting or sculpture or medal or whatever.

Make a flower centerpiece for the dinner table using red carnations (symbolize "incarnation"), baby's breath (innocence, spirit) and ivy (eternal fidelity). Explain how the symbolism of the flowers reminds us of the Annunciation, and the appropriateness of the gift of real flowers for the occasion. Sprinkle the flowers with Holy Water (little children love to do this!), and explain that this consecrates, or sets apart, our gift to the worship of God.

Make a special Annunciation Candle. Use a fat pillar candle of white or blue. Carve a niche in the wax large enough to fit inside it a tiny image (or picture cut from a Christmas card) of the Infant Jesus. Fasten a "curtain", made from a small piece of white cloth, over the opening with pins pushed into the wax. The candle wax represents the purity of the Virgin. The Baby is "hidden" within the body of the candle. Light the candle when the Angelus or Rosary is said on this Feast. The same candle can be saved from year to year. It can also be used on other feast days and solemnities of the Blessed Virgin (Assumption, Immaculate Conception); as well as on Pro-life observances (e.g., January 22, in the US). On Christmas the little curtain would be removed from the niche so the Holy Infant can be seen.

Substitute the regular bedtime story with looking at and talking about pictures of the Annunciation in books. There are many beautifully printed art books containing masterworks of Catholic art that can be borrowed from any public library -- or you may have some in your home library. There you may find reproduced paintings of the Annunciation by Fra Angelico, Roger van der Weyden, and others.

Make a household shrine. A statue or picture of Mary could be placed on a small table in a special place in the house. Or a picture or sculpture of Mary could be hung on the wall over a shelf or cabinet containing the Bible, prayer books and other devotional books, rosaries, &c.

On Marian feasts, especially the Feast of the Annunciation, decorate the "shrine" to "highly favored" Mary with real flowers, if possible. Carnations, roses or lilies in bud would be ideal.

If real flowers are impossible, children could make flowers symbolizing attributes of Mary from tissue or colored paper, etc. (See section on "Mary's flowers" below.) These flowers could be made into a wreath to be hung on the door or placed on a table with a statue or picture of Mary, or to surround the Annunciation Candle.

Plant seeds of marigold (named in honor of Mary) in little pots on a window sill; wait to see them sprout and grow. While you and the children are planting these, talk about the importance of "hidden" work. As a baby grows unseen within the mother's womb, and as the sprouting seed invisibly grows under the soil, so is much essential and vital work that people do -- not visible to most people, and perhaps never known except to God.

Transplant the seedlings to the flower bed outside when the weather permits. There's also a lesson here in the need to grow strong in the faith before we can "flower" as God intends us to do; also the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:2-20; Matt 13:3-23; Luke 8:4-15).

Bake a special cake to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation (perhaps a traditional seed cake?), or make waffles (a Swedish tradition). An angelfood cake would also be appropriate. It could be iced in pale blue, the traditional color of Mary's mantle.


Mary's Flowers


HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
MASS IN THE BASILICA OF THE ANNUNCIATION
Israel ­ Nazareth
Saturday, March 25, 2000

 

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word" (Angelus Prayer).

Your Beatitude,
Brother Bishops,
Father Custos,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. 25th March in the year 2000, the Solemnity of the Annunciation in the Year of the Great Jubilee: on this day the eyes of the whole Church turn to Nazareth. I have longed to come back to the town of Jesus, to feel once again, in contact with this place, the presence of the woman of whom Saint Augustine wrote: "He chose the mother he had created; he created the mother he had chosen" (Sermo 69, 3, 4). Here it is especially easy to understand why all generations call Mary blessed (cf. Lk 2:48).

I warmly greet Your Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah, and thank you for your kind words of presentation. With Archbishop Boutros Mouallem and all of you ­ Bishops, priests, religious women and men, and members of the laity ­ I rejoice in the grace of this solemn celebration. I am happy to have this opportunity to greet the Franciscan Minister General, Father Giacomo Bini, who welcomed me on my arrival, and to express to the Custos, Father Giovanni Battistelli, and the Friars of the Custody the admiration of the whole Church for the devotion with which you carry out your unique vocation. With gratitude I pay tribute to your faithfulness to the charge given to you by Saint Francis himself and confirmed by the Popes down the centuries.

2. We are gathered to celebrate the great mystery accomplished here two thousand years ago. The Evangelist Luke situates the event clearly in time and place: "In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph. . . The virgin's name was Mary" (1:26-27). But in order to understand what took place in Nazareth two thousand years ago, we must return to the Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. That text enables us, as it were, to listen to a conversation between the Father and the Son concerning God's purpose from all eternity. "You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation prepared a body for me. You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin. Then I said. . . ?God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will'" (10:5-7). The Letter to the Hebrews is telling us that, in obedience to the Father's will, the Eternal Word comes among us to offer the sacrifice which surpasses all the sacrifices offered under the former Covenant. His is the eternal and perfect sacrifice which redeems the world.

The divine plan is gradually revealed in the Old Testament, particularly in the words of the Prophet Isaiah which we have just heard: "The Lord himself will give you a sign. It is this: the virgin is with child and will soon give birth to a child whom she will call Emmanuel" (7:14). Emmanuel - God with us. In these words, the unique event that was to take place in Nazareth in the fullness of time is foretold, and it is this event that we are celebrating here with intense joy and happiness.

3. Our Jubilee Pilgrimage has been a journey in spirit, which began in the footsteps of Abraham, "our father in faith" (Roman Canon; cf. Rom 4:11-12). That journey has brought us today to Nazareth, where we meet Mary, the truest daughter of Abraham. It is Mary above all others who can teach us what it means to live the faith of "our father". In many ways, Mary is clearly different from Abraham; but in deeper ways "the friend of God" (cf. Is 41:8) and the young woman of Nazareth are very alike.

Both receive a wonderful promise from God. Abraham was to be the father of a son, from whom there would come a great nation. Mary is to be the Mother of a Son who would be the Messiah, the Anointed One. "Listen!", Gabriel says, " You are to conceive and bear a son. . . The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. . . and his reign will have no end" (Lk 1:31-33).

For both Abraham and Mary, the divine promise comes as something completely unexpected. God disrupts the daily course of their lives, overturning its settled rhythms and conventional expectations. For both Abraham and Mary, the promise seems impossible. Abraham's wife Sarah was barren, and Mary is not yet married: "How can this come about", she asks, "since I am a virgin?" (Lk 1:34).

4. Like Abraham, Mary is asked to say yes to something that has never happened before. Sarah is the first in the line of barren wives in the Bible who conceive by God's power, just as Elizabeth will be the last. Gabriel speaks of Elizabeth to reassure Mary: "Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son" (Lk 1:36).

Like Abraham, Mary must walk through darkness, in which she must simply trust the One who called her. Yet even her question, "How can this come about?", suggests that Mary is ready to say yes, despite her fears and uncertainties. Mary asks not whether the promise is possible, but only how it will be fulfilled. It comes as no surprise, therefore, when finally she utters her fiat: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me" (Lk 1:38). With these words, Mary shows herself the true daughter of Abraham, and she becomes the Mother of Christ and Mother of all believers.

5. In order to penetrate further into the mystery, let us look back to the moment of Abraham's journey when he received the promise. It was when he welcomed to his home three mysterious guests (cf. Gen 18:1-15), and offered them the adoration due to God: tres vidit et unum adoravit. That mysterious encounter foreshadows the Annunciation, when Mary is powerfully drawn into communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through the fiat that Mary uttered in Nazareth, the Incarnation became the wondrous fulfilment of Abraham's encounter with God. So, following in the footsteps of Abraham, we have come to Nazareth to sing the praises of the woman "through whom the light rose over the earth" (Hymn Ave Regina Caelorum).

6. But we have also come to plead with her. What do we, pilgrims on our way into the Third Christian Millennium, ask of the Mother of God? Here in the town which Pope Paul VI, when he visited Nazareth, called "the school of the Gospel", where "we learn to look at and to listen to, to ponder and to penetrate the deep and mysterious meaning of the very simple, very humble and very beautiful appearing of the Son of God" (Address in Nazareth, 5 January 1964), I pray, first, for a great renewal of faith in all the children of the Church. A deep renewal of faith: not just as a general attitude of life, but as a conscious and courageous profession of the Creed: "Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est."

In Nazareth, where Jesus "grew in wisdom and age and grace before God and men" (Lk 2:52), I ask the Holy Family to inspire all Christians to defend the family against so many present-day threats to its nature, its stability and its mission. To the Holy Family I entrust the efforts of Christians and of all people of good will to defend life and to promote respect for the dignity of every human being.

To Mary, the Theotókos, the great Mother of God, I consecrate the families of the Holy Land, the families of the world.

In Nazareth where Jesus began his public ministry, I ask Mary to help the Church everywhere to preach the "good news" to the poor, as he did (cf. Lk 4:18). In this "year of the Lord's favour", I ask her to teach us the way of humble and joyful obedience to the Gospel in the service of our brothers and sisters, without preferences and without prejudices.

"O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen" (Memorare).

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/travels/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20000325_nazareth_en.html


22 posted on 03/25/2014 7:54:34 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: The Annunciation

Feast Day: March 25

23 posted on 03/25/2014 7:58:05 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Annunciation of the Lord

Feast Day: March 25

The time arrived for Jesus to come down from heaven and save us from our sin. God sent his glorious Archangel Gabriel to Mary's little house in the town of Nazareth and found her praying.

"Hail Mary, full of grace!" said the angel. "The Lord is with you, and you are blessed among women." Mary was startled and surprised to hear the angel's words of praise.

"Do not be afraid, Mary," said Gabriel. He told her that she was to be the mother of Jesus, our Savior. Mary was confused but understood what a great honor God was giving her. And she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord!" She only wanted to serve God and was willing to do as He commanded.

At that very moment, through the power of the Holy Spirit, she became the Mother of God. Nine months later, on the 25th of December, Jesus was born.

Mary knew that as the mother of Jesus, along with great joy she would also have many sorrows. She knew she would have to suffer when her Son suffered. Yet with all her heart, she said, "Be it done to me according to your word."

Reflection: This feast celebrates Mary's response to God, and the awesome moment of the Incarnation. Take some time today to think about how greatly our lives have been changed because Mary said "yes" to God.


24 posted on 03/25/2014 8:03:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, March 25

Liturgical Color: Violet

On this day in 1995, Blessed Pope John
Paul II issued his encyclical, Evangelium
Vitae (The Gospel of Life). In it, he
emphasized that as followers of Christ,
we should ensure the protection of all
human life from conception to natural
death.

25 posted on 03/25/2014 3:47:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 106 - What is the Pope's responsibility?

 

What is the Pope's responsibility?

As successor of St. Peter and head of the college of bishops, the Pope is the source and guarantor of the Church's unity. He has the supreme pastoral authority and the final authority in doctrinal and disciplinary decisions.

Jesus gave Peter a unique position of preeminence among the apostles. This made him the supreme authority in the early Church. Rome, the local Church that Peter led and the place of his martyrdom, became after his death the internal reference point of the young Church. Every Christian community had to agree with Rome; that was the standard for the true, complete, and unadulterated apostolic faith. To this day every Bishop of Rome has been, like Peter, the supreme shepherd of the Church, whose real Head is Christ. Only in this capacity is the Pope "Christ's Vicar on earth". As the highest pastoral and doctrinal authority, he watches over the transmission of the true faith. If need be, he must revoke commissions to teach doctrine or relieve ordained ministers of their office in cases of serious failures in matters of faith and morals. Unity in matters of faith and morals, which is guaranteed by the Church's Magisterium, or teaching authority, with the Pope at the head, is one reason for the remarkable resilience and influence of the Catholic Church. (YOUCAT question 141)

 

Dig Deeper: CCC section (880-882) and other references here.


26 posted on 03/25/2014 4:34:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)

Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)

Chapter 3: I Believe in the Holy Spirit (683 - 1065)

Article 9: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" (748 - 975)

Paragraph 4: Christ's Faithful — Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life (871 - 945)

I. THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH

The episcopal college and its head, the Pope

552
862
(all)

880

When Christ instituted the Twelve, "he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them."398 Just as "by the Lord's institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another."399

398.

LG 19; cf. Lk 6:13; Jn 21:15-17.

399.

LG 22; cf. CIC, can. 330.

553
642
(all)

1

 

881

The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.400 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

400.

Cf. Mt 16:18-19; Jn 21:15-17.

401.

LG 22 § 2.

1369
834
837
(all)

882

The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."402 "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."403

402.

LG 23.

403.

LG 22; cf. CD 2,9.


27 posted on 03/25/2014 4:38:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

Daily Readings for:March 25, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who willed that your Word should take on the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Angel Food Cake I

o    Angel Food Cake II

o    Boiled White Icing

o    Classic Angel Food Cake

o    European Chocolate Icing

o    Jellied Macaroni Ring

o    Luscious Coffee Ring

o    Swedish Waffles

o    Tirami Su: "Pick-Me-Up" Dessert

o    Waffles

ACTIVITIES

o    Angelus Lesson

o    Annunciation Day Food Ideas

o    Annunciation Tableau

o    Annunciation: A Little Play for Preschool Children

o    Celebrating the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin

o    Feast of the Annunciation: Origin and Traditions

o    Feasts of Mary in the Family

o    Feasts of Our Lady in the Home

o    Marian Hymn: ’Tis Said of Our Dear Lady

o    Marian Hymn: A Single Branch Three Roses Bore

o    Marian Hymn: Ave Maria Dear

o    Marian Hymn: Beautiful, Glorious

o    Marian Hymn: Lourdes Hymn or Immaculate Mary

o    Marian Hymn: Salve Regina

o    Marian Hymn: Stella Matutina

o    Marian Hymn: Virgin Blessed, Thou Star the Fairest

o    Mary Garden

o    Teaching Moments for the Feast of the Annunciation

PRAYERS

o    Angelus Domini (The Angel of the Lord)

o    Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loretto)

o    Table Blessing for the Solemnity of the Annunciation

o    Annunciation Novena

o    Table Blessing for the Feasts of the Mother of God

o    Novena for the Annunciation

LIBRARY

o    Behold the Handmaid of the Lord | Fr. Francis J. Connell C.SS.R.

o    Mary Responds to God with Spousal Love | Pope John Paul II

o    Mary's Faith in the Light of the Mystery of the Annunciation | Pope Benedict XVI

o    We Repeat The Words Of The Annunciation For The World, The Church | Guiseppe Luppino

·         Lent: March 25th

·         Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Old Calendar: Annunciation of the Lord; St. Dismas (Hist); St. Margaret Clitherow, martyr (Hist)

Again Lent's austerity is interrupted as we solemnly keep a feast in honor of the Annunciation. The Annunciation is a mystery that belongs to the temporal rather than to the sanctoral cycle in the Church's calendar. For the feast commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Divine Person of the most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Thus it is a feast of our Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the liturgy centers wholly around the Mother of God. — The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Today is also the historical feast of St. Dismas, the good thief and St. Margaret Clitherow, wife and mother who was one of the English martyrs.

Stational Church


The Annunciation

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel; and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel, and she answers him; but the angel of the earthly paradise is a spirit of darkness, and he of Nazareth is a spirit of light. In both instances it is the angel that has the first word. 'Why,' said the serpent to Eve, 'hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?' His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil; he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it, but he hates the image of God which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light; see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve; and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: 'Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!' Such language is evidently of heaven: none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit: she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her. She rashly stretches forth her hand; she plucks the fruit; she eats it, and death takes possession of her: death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life; and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror, and finally crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle, and fix them on Nazareth. Mary has heard the angel's explanation of the mystery; the will of heaven is made known to her, and how grand an honor it is to bring upon her! She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God, and yet the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her! Mary bows down before this sovereign will, and says to the heavenly messenger: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.'

Thus, as the great St. Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first: for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, 'be it done,' than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary, and there He begins His human life. A Virgin is a Mother, and Mother of God; and it is this Virgin's consenting to the divine will that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman the relations of Son and Mother; it gives to the almighty God a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary. God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance; the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough; and therefore she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy. The result of so glorious a triumph is that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels, but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven. Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation. Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her; and in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary, and deem themselves honored when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.

Therefore is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary's obedience from the power of hell, solemnize this day of the Annunciation. Well may we say of Mary those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God's people: 'The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel. The Lord chose new wars, and He Himself overthrew the gates of the enemies." Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary: 'Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him. And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel; and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him.'

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Things to Do:


St. Dismas

Saint Dismas(sometimes spelled Dysmas or only Dimas, or even Dumas), also known as the Good Thief or the Penitent Thief, is the apocryphal name given to one of the thieves who was crucified alongside Christ according to the Gospel of Luke 23:39-43:

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us."

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss."

And he said unto Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."

And Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise."


St. Margaret Clitherow

St. Margaret is considered the first woman martyred under Queen Elizabeth's religious suppression. Margaret was raised a Protestant but converted to Catholicism about two to three years after she was married. According to her confessor, Fr. Mush, Margaret became a Catholic because she "found no substance, truth nor Christian comfort in the ministers of the new church, nor in their doctrine itself, and hearing also many priests and lay people to suffer for the defense of the ancient Catholic Faith." Margaret's husband, John Clitherow, remained a Protestant but supported his wife's decision to convert. They were happily married and raised three children: Henry, William, and Anne. She was a businesswoman who helped run her husband's butcher shop business. She was loved many people even her Protestant neighbors.

Margaret practiced her faith and helped many people reconcile themselves back into the Catholic Church. She prayed one and a half hours every day and fasted four times a week. She regularly participated in mass and frequently went to confession. When laws were passed against Catholics, Margaret was imprisoned several times because she did not attend Protestant services. Other laws were passed which included a 1585 law that made it high treason for a priest to live in England and a felony for anyone to harbor or aid a priest. The penalty for breaking such laws was death. Despite the risk, Margaret helped and concealed priests. Margaret said "by God's grace all priests shall be more welcome to me than ever they were, and I will do what I can to set forward God's Catholic service."

Margaret wanted her son Henry to receive a Catholic education so she endeavored that her son be sent outside the Kingdom to Douai, France for schooling. Such an act was considered a crime. When the authorities discovered their intention, the Common Council had the Clitherow house searched. They initially found nothing but later retrieved religious vessels, books and vestments used for Holy Mass. They also found a secret hiding place but no renegade priests. Still, Margaret was arrested. Margaret refused to plead and to be tried saying, "Having made no offense, I need no trial". English law decreed that anyone who refused to plead and to be tried should be "pressed to death". So on the morning of March 25, 1586, after sewing her own shroud the night before and after praying for the Pope, cardinals, clergy, and the Queen, Margaret was executed. She lay sandwiched between a rock and a wooden slab while weights were dropped upon her, crushing her to death. She did not cry out but prayed "Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy upon me. She died at age 30.

Moved by her saintly life, all her children entered the religious life. Anne became a nun. Henry and William both became priests.

On October 25, 1970, Pope Paul VI declared Margaret a saint.

Excerpted from Savior.org

Things to Do:


The Station is in the church of St. Pudentiana, daughter of Pudens the senator. This holy virgin of Rome lived in the second century. She was remarkable for her charity, and for the zeal wherewith she sought for and buried the bodies of the martyrs. Her church is built on the very spot where stood the house in which she lived with her father and her sister St. Praxedes. St. Peter the Apostle had honored this house with his presence, during the lifetime of Pudentiana's grandfather.


28 posted on 03/25/2014 4:49:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation of the Lord

Do not be afraid, Mary. (Luke 1:30)

How hard it must have been for Mary to accept the angel’s words! First, he told her that her marriage plans were going to change dramatically. Then, when she heard that she would conceive a child “by the Spirit,” she must have worried that Joseph might leave her. And if she were left pregnant with no husband, that likely meant rejection by her townsfolk and a life of shame and hardship.

God sure knows how to lay a heavy burden on a person, doesn’t he? Mary was left troubled, confused, and afraid. So why was she able to say yes to the angel’s invitation? Because Mary was full of grace.

Grace is a gift that God has freely given to all of us. There are many kinds of grace. For example, God gives us the grace of salvation, the grace to believe, and the grace to die to ourselves. God gave Mary an “enabling grace,” which moved her to say, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

This grace of God acts like the fuel we use to make a car go. It is God’s power at work in us, both to choose and to work “for his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Now, even with all the grace that God had given her, Mary still needed to take hold of it and apply it to her life—just as a car filled with gas won’t go anywhere unless we turn it on, put it in gear, and begin to drive.

The angel assured Mary that nothing is “impossible for God” (Luke 1:37). Our Father can do whatever he wants, whenever and wherever he wants. But for some reason, he prefers to do his work in and through us. So as we celebrate this great day when Mary submitted to God’s will, let’s make the same decision. Let’s make sure we are open to the possibility that God may want to change some of our plans. Let’s all say, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.”

“Holy Mary, we honor you for the way you gave up your plans and submitted yourself to God completely. Teach us to do the same.”

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10; Psalm 40:7-11; Hebrews 10:4-10


29 posted on 03/25/2014 5:03:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

25 Mar

TO BE THE MOTHER OF THE WORLD’S REDEEMER [LUKE 1:26-38]

(Solemnity: THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD)

Annunciation3575475475

Many of us think we have a right to be made happy, as though it were everyone else’s duty to brighten our day by doing exactly what our feelings desire.

If anything is clear to us in Holy Scripture, it is this: those whom God loved best were surrounded by sorrows and trials and even great tragedies. And yet they were deeply happy; they spoke and sang of their joys. They praised God and thanked Him for the very things that many of us would complain about bitterly.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, led a life of unglamorous poverty. God had promised her His grace; she would be the Mother of the world’s Redeemer, but this would bring her no personal wealth or earthly favors, no assurance of the world’s honors and attentions. Indeed, when she brought her child to the temple, the old man Simeon prophesied that her soul would be pierced by the sword of suffering (Luke 2:35).

When the angel’s joyful news came to her, “You shall bear a Son, and He shall save His people” (Luke 1:30-33). Mary accepted willingly, saying that she was the servant of God (Luke 1:38). But she spent no time congratulating herself on making demands of God or neighbor. Rather, she thought of others. Her cousin Elizabeth was with child in her advanced years. So Mary made the long trip and spent three months in the service of Elizabeth and Zechariah (Luke 1:39-56).

Like Mary, those of us who will ever experience true joy must find it within ourselves. No one else can give it to you – but if you really want it, it is available from God, who promised it to those who search for it.

30 posted on 03/25/2014 5:16:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 25, 2014:

In the midst of the penance and purple of Lent, a feast of such good news! “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,” the angel tells Mary. Couples who await their own “annunciation” bear a heavy burden. Pray for them today, and thank God for the gift of your children if […]

31 posted on 03/25/2014 5:22:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

"The Mystery of the Annunciation is the Mystery of Grace" by Joseph Ratzinger





The mystery of the annunciation to Mary is not just a mystery of silence. It is above and beyond all that a mystery of grace.

We feel compelled to ask ourselves: Why did Christ really want to be born of a virgin? It was certainly possible for him to have been born of a normal marriage. That would not have affected his divine Sonship, which was not dependent on his virgin birth and could equally well have been combined with another kind of birth. There is no question here of a downgrading of marriage or of the marriage relationship; nor is it a question of better safeguarding the divine Sonship. Why then?

We find the answer when we open the Old Testament and see that the mystery of Mary is prepared for at every important stage in salvation history. It begins with Sarah, the mother of Isaac, who had been barren, but when she was well on in years and had lost the power of giving life, became, by the power of God, the mother of Isaac and so of the chosen people.

The process continues with Anna, the mother of Samuel, who was likewise barren, but eventually gave birth; with the mother of Samson, or again with Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptizer. The meaning of all these events is the same: that salvation comes, not from human beings and their powers, but solely from God—from an act of his grace.

(From Dogma und Verkundigung, pp. 375ff; quoted in Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year [Ignatius Press, 1992], pp. 99-100.)


32 posted on 03/25/2014 5:26:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Coming to fulfil what is written of me

Monday, 24 March 2014 20:30

 

The Annunciation in the Mectildian Jubilee Year

By a wonderful and mysterious disposition of Divine Providence, Mother Mectilde de Bar received permission for the first solemn exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Institute of Perpetual Adoration on the feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 1653. This was no mere coincidence; the Finger of God was in it.

Reading the Meaning of Events

This is more than a mere historical event; it belongs, rather, to those mysterious events that contain within themselves the seed and the grace of every future development. The first solemn exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament could have happened on another day. There is no shortage of feasts in the liturgical year that would have been suitable but, of all of them, God chose this one: the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Incarnation of the Word.

The Virgin of the Annunciation

In sacred art, the Virgin of the Annunciation is depicted either seated, with the book of the prophets or of the psalms lying open in her lap, or holding a spindle and engaged in weaving a cloth of great beauty. Both representations are symbolic.

The Virgin Listening

In the first we see Our Lady reading the Word of God.  She listens to the Word of God; she repeats it and, by repetition, takes it into herself; she allows the Word addressed to her to become in the sanctuary of her heart the Word she addresses to God; and, then, by the action of the Holy Ghost, she so gives herself to the Word, that the heart of the Word begins its eternal rhythm beneath her heart, pulsating within her virginal womb as the heart of the Host pulsates on the pure white linen of the corporal in the Holy Sacrifice.

The Virgin Weaving

In the second image we see Our Lady weaving; in her immaculate hands, all the threads of Israel’s history, and of her own, enter into the fulfillment of God’s perfect design. Mary of Nazareth is not weaving a veil of wool and silk and linen for use in the temple in Jerusalem; she is weaving the most sacred liturgical vesture of all — a human body — for the Eternal High Priest who is about to offer Himself as the pure victim, the holy victim, the spotless victim in the sanctuary of her womb.

The Angel

It is precisely at this moment — however we may choose to understand it — that the Archangel makes his entrance. He enters, he speaks, he receives the long–awaited answer from the lips of the Virgin only to make possible another entrance: the solemn entrance of Christ into space and time; the arrival of the High Priest, the Lamb of Sacrifice, the Victim prepared from the beginning of the world (Apocalypse 13:8).

Temple and Altar

Mary of Nazareth was, in spite of her youth, in perfect readiness for this moment. She felt a trembling in her womb, the blazing up of a fire, the movement, as it were, of priestly steps hastening to ascend the altar. Overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, she understood in an instant of incandescent light that her body had become a temple more spacious than the temple in Jerusalem, that her womb had become an altar, and her heart the Holy of Holies.

She remembered David’s mystic utterance in Psalm 39 and, was astonished to hear it repeated within herself by a voice that, without being hers, was perfectly attuned to her own.

No sacrifice, no offering was thy demand; enough that thou hast given me an ear ready to listen. Thou hast not found any pleasure in burnt-sacrifices, in sacrifices for sin. See then, I said, I am coming to fulfil what is written of me, where the book lies unrolled; to do thy will, O my God, is all my desire, to carry out that law of thine which is written in my heart. (Psalm 39:7–9)

My body, she whispered, has become a temple; my womb has become an altar. My fiat has opened heaven. The Holy Ghost has seized flesh of my flesh and blood of my blood so that, at last God may find on earth the one priest and one victim worthy of Himself.

Saint Luke’s Account

Saint Luke, of course, relates none of this explicitly in his account of the Annunciation. He writes of the Angel Gabriel sent from God, of the Virgin named Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, and of the dialogue on which hung the salvation of the world. He writes of the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, of the sign of old Elizabeth found with child and already in her sixth month, and of a sign greater and more wonderful still, for to God nothing is impossible.

As Christ Comes Into the World

Saint Luke gives us the Virgin’s response,” Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38), and then, telling us of the Angel’s quick return to heaven, he covers all the rest in a veil of silence. To understand the mystery in its fulness, we are obliged to go to the Letter to the Hebrews.

As Christ comes into the world, he says, No sacrifice, no offering was thy demand; thou hast endowed me, instead, with a body. Thou hast not found any pleasure in burnt-sacrifices, in sacrifices for sin. See then, I said, I am coming to fulfil what is written of me, where the book lies unrolled; to do thy will, O my God. (Hebrews 10:5–7)

Towards the Altar of the Cross

The Annunciation is the great and solemn festival of the Victimhood of the Son of God. It is the beginning of the solemn entrance procession of the Eternal High Priest.  It sets in motion the immense movement of return to the Father by which the Word, having espoused our humanity, prepares to ascend to the altar where He will be immolated and glorified.

Today Mary receives into the sanctuary of her womb, and upon the altar of her heart, the one Victim necessary, the only Victim worthy of God, the Victim whose coming the world desired, the prophets announced, the psalmists sang, and the children of Israel awaited in hope.

First he says, Thou didst not demand victim or offering, the burnt-sacrifice, the sacrifice for sin, nor hast thou found any pleasure in them; in anything, that is, which the law has to offer, and then:—I said, See, my God, I am coming to do thy will. He must clear the ground first, so as to build up afterwards. In accordance with this divine will we have been sanctified by an offering made once for all, the body of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 10:8–10)

Radiant in the Light of the Sacred Host

This is the mystery of the Annunciation in all its mystic fulfilment. The Annunciation cannot be celebrated, nor can it be meditated, nor can it be understood, apart from this, the Great Entrance of Christ the Victim, the beginning of the one Holy Sacrifice shown forth in the Cenacle, consummated on Calvary, ceaselessly offered in the sanctuary of heaven, and perpetuated until the end of time of earth in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. This, it seems to me, is why the Providence of God ordained that the Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration should first emerge from the shadows and become radiant in the light of the Sacred Host on the feast of the Annunciation.

Receive Him

Receive today the Divine Victim into yourselves, even as the Virgin of Nazareth received Him into herself. Let Him find within you a sanctuary for the offering of His Sacrifice, an altar for His immolation, and an adoring silence worthy of His divine liturgy. Even more, let Him find you ready for His immolation, not as spectators looking on in awe, but as souls wholly abandoned to the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Divine Victim hid in the sanctuary of Mary’s womb
and immolated upon the altar of her heart,
unite us to Thyself:
our bodies to Thy Body,
our blood to Thy Blood,
our souls to Thy Soul,
our hearts to Thy Heart,
so as to make us with Thyself
one Priest and one Victim
offered to the glory of the Father,
out of love for Thy Spouse, the Church,
and in reparation for the sins by which Thy Sacrifice is scorned,
Thy presence dishonoured,
and the brightness of Thy glory dimmed in the sight of men
who, even without knowing it,
yearn to gaze upon the beauty of Thy Face.
Amen.


33 posted on 03/25/2014 5:34:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, In mense autem sexto, missus est angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilææ, cui nomen Nazareth, εν δε τω μηνι τω εκτω απεσταλη ο αγγελος γαβριηλ υπο του θεου εις πολιν της γαλιλαιας η ονομα ναζαρετ
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. ad virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Joseph, de domo David : et nomen virginis Maria. προς παρθενον μεμνηστευμενην ανδρι ω ονομα ιωσηφ εξ οικου δαυιδ και το ονομα της παρθενου μαριαμ
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit : Ave gratia plena : Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus. και εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην ειπεν χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο κυριος μετα σου ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. Quæ cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus, et cogitabat qualis esset ista salutatio. η δε ιδουσα διεταραχθη επι τω λογω αυτου και διελογιζετο ποταπος ειη ο ασπασμος ουτος
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Et ait angelus ei : Ne timeas, Maria : invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. και ειπεν ο αγγελος αυτη μη φοβου μαριαμ ευρες γαρ χαριν παρα τω θεω
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. Ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum : και ιδου συλληψη εν γαστρι και τεξη υιον και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιησουν
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. hic erit magnus, et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris ejus : et regnabit in domo Jacob in æternum, ουτος εσται μεγας και υιος υψιστου κληθησεται και δωσει αυτω κυριος ο θεος τον θρονον δαυιδ του πατρος αυτου
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. et regni ejus non erit finis. και βασιλευσει επι τον οικον ιακωβ εις τους αιωνας και της βασιλειας αυτου ουκ εσται τελος
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? Dixit autem Maria ad angelum : Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco ? ειπεν δε μαριαμ προς τον αγγελον πως εσται τουτο επει ανδρα ου γινωσκω
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Et respondens angelus dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei. και αποκριθεις ο αγγελος ειπεν αυτη πνευμα αγιον επελευσεται επι σε και δυναμις υψιστου επισκιασει σοι διο και το γεννωμενον αγιον κληθησεται υιος θεου
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua : et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis : και ιδου ελισαβετ η συγγενης σου και αυτη συνειληφυια υιον εν γηρει αυτης και ουτος μην εκτος εστιν αυτη τη καλουμενη στειρα
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. οτι ουκ αδυνατησει παρα τω θεω παν ρημα
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Dixit autem Maria : Ecce ancilla Domini : fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Et discessit ab illa angelus. ειπεν δε μαριαμ ιδου η δουλη κυριου γενοιτο μοι κατα το ρημα σου και απηλθεν απ αυτης ο αγγελος

(*) Verses 32-33 breakdown differs in the translations.

34 posted on 03/25/2014 5:45:49 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

THEOPHYL; Because either the Incarnation of Christ was to be in the sixth age of the world, or because it was to serve to the fulfilling of the law, rightly in the sixth month of John's conception was an angel sent to Mary, to tell her that a Savior should be born. Hence it is said, And in the sixth month, &c. We must understand the sixth month to be March, on the twenty-fifth day of which our Lord is reported to have been conceived, and to have suffered, as also to have been born on the twenty-fifth day of December. But if either the one day we believe to be the vernal equinox, or the other the winter solstice, it happens that with the increase of light He was conceived or born Who lightens every man that comes into the world. But if any one shall prove, that before the time of our Lord's nativity or conception, light began either to increase, or supersede the darkness, we then say, that it was because John, before the appearance of His coming, began to preach the kingdom of heaven.

BASIL. The heavenly spirits visit us, not as it seems fit to them, but as the occasion conduces to our advantage, for they are ever looking upon the glory and fullness of the Divine Wisdom; hence it follows, The angel Gabriel was sent.

GREG. To the virgin Mary was sent, not any one of the angels, but the archangel Gabriel; for upon this service it was meet that the highest angel should come, as being the bearer of the highest of all tidings. He is therefore marked by a particular name, to signify what was his effectual part in the work. For Gabriel is interpreted, "the strength of God." By the strength of God then was He to be announced Who was coming as the God of strength, and mighty in battle, to put down the powers of the air.

GLOSS. But the place is also added whither he is sent, as it follows, To a city, Nazareth. For it was told that He would come a Nazarite, (i.e. the holy of the holy.)

THEOPHYL; It was as a fit beginning for man's restoration, that an angel should be sent down from God to consecrate a virgin by a divine birth, for the first cause of man's perdition was the Devil sending a serpent to deceive a woman by the spirit of pride.

AUG. To a virgin, for Christ could be born from virginity alone, seeing He could not have an equal in His birth. It was necessary for our Head by this mighty miracle to be born according to the flesh of a virgin gin' that He might signify that his members were to be born in the spirit of a virgin Church.

JEROME; And rightly an angel is sent to the virgin, because the virgin state is ever akin to that of angels. Surely in the flesh to live beyond the flesh is not a life on earth but in heaven.

CHRYS. The angel announces the birth to the virgin not after the conception, lest she should be thereby too much troubled, but before the conception he addresses her, not in a dream, but standing by her in visible shape. For as great indeed were the tidings she receives, she needed before the issue of the event an extraordinary visible manifestation.

AMBROSE; Scripture has rightly mentioned that she was espoused, as well as a virgin, a virgin, that she might appear free from all connection with man; espoused, that she might not be branded with the disgrace of sullied virginity, whose swelling womb seemed to bear evident marks of her corruption. But the Lord had rather that men should cast a doubt upon His birth than upon His mother's purity. He knew how tender is a virgin's modesty, and how easily assailed the reputation of her chastity, nor did He think the credit of His birth was to be built up by His mother's wrongs. It follows therefore, that the holy Mary's virginity was of as untainted purity as it was also of unblemished reputation. Nor ought there, by an erroneous opinion, to be left the shadow of an excuse to living virgins, that the mother of our Lord even seemed to be evil spoken of. But what could be imputed to the Jews, or to Herod, if they should seen to have persecuted an adulterous offspring? And how could He Himself say, I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, if He should seem to have had his beginning from a violation of the law, for the issue of an unmarried person is condemned by the law? Not to add that also greater credit is given to the words of Mary, and the cause of falsehood removed? For it might seem that unmarried becoming pregnant, she had wished to shade her guilt by a lie; but an espoused person has no reason for lying, since to women child-birth is the reward of wedlock, the grace of the marriage bed. Again, the virginity of Mary was meant to baffle the prince of the world, who, when he perceived her espoused to a mall, could cast no suspicion on her offspring.

ORIGEN; For if she had had no husband, soon would the thought have stolen into the Devil's mind, how she who had known no man could be pregnant. It was right that the conception should be Divine, something more exalted than human nature.

AMBROSE; But still more has it baffled the princes of the world, for the malice of devils soon detects even hidden things, while they who are occupied in worldly vanities, can not know the things of God. But moreover, a more powerful witness of her purity is adduced, her husband, who might both have been indignant at the injury, and revenged the dishonor, if he also had not acknowledged the mystery; of whom it is added, Whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.

THEOPHYL; Which last applies not only to Joseph, but also to Mary, for the Law commanded that every one should take a wife out of his own tribe or family. It follows, And the virgin's name was Mary.

ID. Maria, in Hebrew, is the star of the sea; but in Syriac it is interpreted Mistress, and well, because Mary was thought worthy to be the mother of the Lord of the whole world, and the light of endless ages.

28. And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.
29. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

AMBROSE; Mark the virgin by her manner of life. Alone in an inner chamber, unseen by the eyes of men, discovered only by an angel; as it is said, And the angel came in to her. That she might not be dishonored by any ignoble address, she is saluted by an angel.

GREG. NYSS. Far different then to the news formerly addressed to the woman, is the announcement now made to the Virgin. In the former, the cause of sin was punished by the pains of childbirth; In the latter, through gladness, sorrow is driven away. Hence the angel not unaptly proclaims joy to the Virgin, saying, Hail.

GREEK EX. But that she was judged worthy of the nuptials is attested by his saying, Full of grace. For it is signified as a kind of token or marriage gift of the bridegroom, that she was fruitful in graces. For of the things which he mentions, the one appertains to the bride, the other to the bridegroom.

JEROME; And it is well said, Full of grace, for to others, grace comes in part; into Mary at once the fullness of grace wholly infused itself. She truly is full of grace through whom has been poured forth upon every creature the abundant rain of the Holy Spirit. But already He was with the Virgin Who sent the angel to the Virgin. The Lord preceded His messenger, for He could not be confined by place Who dwells in all places. Whence it follows, The Lord is with you.

AUG. More I than with me, for He Himself is in your heart, He is (made) in you womb, He fills your soul, He fills your womb.

GREEK EX. But this is the sum of the whole message. The Word of God, as the Bridegroom, effecting an incomprehensible union, Himself, as it were, the same both planting, and being planted, has molded the whole nature of man into Himself. But comes last the most perfect and comprehensive salutation; Blessed are you among women. i.e. Alone, far before all other women; that women also should be blessed in you, as men are in your Son; but rather both in both. For as by one man and one woman came at once both sin and sorrow, so now also by one woman and one man has both blessing and joy been restored, and poured forth upon all.

AMBROSE; But mark the Virgin by her bashfulness, for she was afraid, as it follows; And when she heard, she was troubled. It is the habit of virgins to tremble, and to be ever afraid at the presence of man, and to be shy when he addresses her. Learn, O virgin, to avoid light talking. Mary feared even the salutation of an angel.

GREEK EX. But as she might be accustomed to these visions, the Evangelist ascribes her agitation not to the vision, but to the things told her, saying, she was troubled at his words. Now observe both the modesty and wisdom of the Virgin; the soul, and at the same time the voice. When she heard the joyful words, she pondered them in her mind, and neither openly resisted through unbelief, nor forthwith lightly complied; avoiding equally the inconstancy of Eve, and the insensibility of Zacharias. Hence it is said, And she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this was, it is not said conception for as yet she knew not the vastness of the mystery. But the salutation, was there aught of passion in it as from a man to a virgin? or was it not of God, seeing that he makes mention of God, saying, The Lord is with you.

AMBROSE; She wondered also at the new form of blessing, unheard of before, reserved for Mary alone.

ORIGEN; For if Mary had known that similar words had been addressed to others, such a salutation would never have appeared to her so strange and alarming.

30. And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary for you have found favor with God.
31. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:
33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

When the angel saw that she was troubled at this unusual salutation, calling her by her name as if she was well known to him, he tells her she must not fear, as it follows, And the angel said, Fear not, Mary.

GREEK EX. As if he said, I came not to deceive you, nay rather to bring down deliverance from deception; I came not to rob you of your inviolable virginity, but to open a dwelling-place for the Author and Guardian of your purity, I am not a servant of the Devil but the ambassador of Him that destroys the Devil. I am come to form a marriage treaty, not to devise plots. So far then was he from allowing her to be harassed by distracting thoughts, lest he should be counted a servant unfaithful to his trust.

CHRYS. But he who earns favor in the sight of God has nothing to fear. Hence it follows, For you have found favor before God. But how shall any one find it, except through the means of his humility. For God gives grace to the humble.

GREEK EX. For the Virgin found favor with God, in that decking her own soul in the bright robes of chastity, she prepared a dwelling-place pleasing to God. Not only did she retain her virginity inviolate, but her conscience also she kept from stain. As many had found favor before Mary, he goes on to state what was peculiar to her. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb.

GREEK EX. By the word behold, he denotes rapidity and actual presence, implying that with the utterance of the word the conception is accomplished.

GREEK EX. You shall conceive in your womb, that he might show that our Lord from the very Virgin's womb, and of our substance, took our flesh upon Him. For the Divine Word came to purify man's nature and birth, and the first elements of our generation. And so without sin and human seed, passing through every stage as we do, He is conceived in the flesh, and carried in the womb for the space of nine months.

GREEK EX. But since it happens also that to the spiritual mind is given in an especial manner to conceive the Divine Spirit, and bring forth the Spirit of salvation, as says the Prophet; therefore he added, And you shall bring forth a Son.

AMBROSE; But all are not as Mary, that when they conceive the word of the Holy Spirit, they bring forth; for some put forth the word prematurely, others have Christ in the womb, but not yet formed.

GREG. NYSS. While the expectation of child-birth strikes a woman with terror, the sweet mention of her offspring calms her, as it is added, And you shall call his name Jesus. The coming of the Savior is the banishing of all fear.

THEOPHYL; Jesus is interpreted Savior, or Healing.

GREEK EX. And he says, You shall call, not His father shall call, for He is without a father as regards His lower birth, as He is without a mother in respect of the higher.

CYRIL; But, this name was given anew to the Word in adaptation to His nativity in the flesh; as that prophecy said, You shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord has named.

GREEK EX. But as this name was common to Him with the successor of Moses, the angel therefore implying that He should not be after Joshua's likeness, adds, He shall be great.

AMBROSE; It was said also of John, that he shall be great, but of him indeed as of a great man, of Christ, as of the great God. For abundantly is poured forth the power of God; widely the greatness of the heavenly substance extended, neither confined by place, nor grasped by thought; neither determined by calculation, nor altered by age.

ORIGEN; See then the greatness of the Savior, how it is diffused over the whole world. Go up to heaven, see there how it has filled the heavenly places; carry your thoughts down to the deep, behold, there too He has descended. If you see this, then, in like manner, behold you fulfilled in very deed, He shall be great.

GREEK EX. The assumption of our flesh does not diminish ought from the loftiness of the Deity, but rather exalts the lowness of man's nature. Hence it follows, And he shall be called the Son of the Highest. Not, you shall give Him the name, but He Himself shall be called. By whom, but His Father of like substance with Himself? For no one has known the Son but the Father. But He in Whom exists the infallible knowledge of His Son, is the true interpreter as to the name which should be given Him, when He says, This is my beloved Son; for such indeed from everlasting He is, though His name was not revealed till now; therefore he says, He shall be called, not shall be made or begotten. For before the worlds He was of like substance with the Father. Him therefore you shall conceive; His mother you shall become; Him shall your virgin shrine enclose, Whom the heavens were not able to contain.

CHRYS. But since it seems shocking or unworthy to some men that God should inhabit a body, is the Sun, I would ask, the heat whereof is felt by each body that receives its rays, at all sullied as to its natural purity? Much more then does the Sun of Righteousness, in taking upon Himself a most pure body from the Virgin's womb, escape not only defilement, but even show forth His own mother in greater holiness.

GREEK EX. And to make the Virgin mindful of the prophets, he adds, And the Lord God shall give to him the seat of David, that she might know clearly, that He Who is to be born of her is that very Christ, Whom the prophets promised should be born of the seed of David.

CYRIL; Not however from Joseph proceeded the most pure descent of Christ. For from one and the same line of connection had sprung both Joseph and the Virgin, and from this the only-begotten had taken the form of man.

BASIL; Our Lord sat not on the earthly throne of David, the Jewish kingdom having been transferred to Herod. The seat of David is that on which our Lord reestablished His spiritual kingdom which should never be destroyed. Hence it follows, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob.

CHRYS. Now He assigns to the present house of Jacob all those who were of the number of the Jews that believed on Him. For as Paul says, They are not all Israel which are of Israel, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

THEOPHYL; Or by the house of Jacob he means the whole Church which either sprang from a good root, or though formerly a wild olive branch, has yet been for a reward of its faith grafted into the good olive tree.

GREEK EX. But to reign for ever is of none save God alone; and hence though because of the incarnation- t nation Christ is said to receive the seat of David, yet as being Himself God He is acknowledged to be the eternal King. It follows, And his kingdom shall have no end, not in that He is God, but in that He is man also. Now indeed He has the kingdom of many nations, but finally he shall reign over all, when all things shall be put under Him.

THEOPHYL; Let Nestorius then cease to say that the Virgin's Son is only man, and to deny that He is taken up by the Word of God into the unity of the Person. For the Angel when he says that the very same has David for His father whom he declares is called the Son of the Highest, demonstrates the one Person of Christ in two natures. The Angel uses the future tense not because, as the Heretics say, Christ was not before Mary, but because in the same person, man with God shares the same name of Son.

34. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall he born of you shall be called the Son of God.

AMBROSE; It was Mary's part neither to refuse belief in the Angel, nor too hastily take to herself the divine message. How subdued her answer is, compared with the words of the Priest. Then said Mary to the Angel, How shall this be? She says, How shall this be? He answers, Whereby shall I know this? He refuses to believe that which he says he does not know, and seeks as it were still further authority for belief. She avows herself willing to do that which she doubts not will be done, but how, she is anxious to know. Mary had read, Behold, she shall conceive and bear a son. She believed therefore that it should be but how it was to take place she had never read, for even to so great a prophet this had not been revealed. So great a mystery was not to be divulged by the mouth of man, but of an Angel.

GREG. NYSS. Hear the chaste words of the Virgin. The Angel tells her she shall bear a son, but she rests upon her virginity, deeming her inviolability a more precious thing than the Angel's declaration. Hence she says, Seeing that I know not a man.

BASIL; Knowledge is spoken of in various ways. The wisdom of our Creator is called knowledge, and an acquaintance with His mighty works, the keeping also of His commandments, and the constant drawing near to Him; and besides these the marriage union is called knowledge as it is here.

GREG. NYSS. These words of Mary are a token of what she was pondering in the secrets of her heart; for if for the sake of the marriage union she had wished to be espoused to Joseph, why was she seized with astonishment when the conception was made known to her? seeing in truth she might herself be expecting at the time to become a mother according to the law of nature. But because it was meet that her body being presented to God as an holy offering should be kept inviolate, therefore she says, Seeing that I know not a man. As if she said, Notwithstanding that you who speak are an Angel, yet that I should know a man is plainly an impossible thing. How then can I be a mother, having no husband? For Joseph I have acknowledged as my betrothed.

GREEK EX. But mark, how the Angel solves the Virgin's doubts, and shows to her the unstained marriage and the unspeakable birth. And the Angel answered, and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you.

CHRYS. As if he said, Look not for the order of nature in things which transcend and overpower nature. Do you say, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Nay rather, shall it happen to you for this very reason, that you have never known a husband. For if you had, you would not have been thought worthy of the mystery, not that marriage is unholy, but virginity more excellent. It became the common Lord of all both to take part with us, and to differ with us in His nativity; for the being born from the womb, He shared in common with us, but in that He was born without cohabitation, He was exalted far above us.

GREG. NYSS. O blessed is that womb which because of the overflowing purity of the Virgin Mary has drawn to itself the gift of life! For in others scarcely indeed shall a pure soul obtain the presence of the Holy Spirit, but in her the flesh is made the receptacle of the Spirit.

ID. For the tables of our nature which guilt had broken, the true Lawgiver has formed anew to Himself from our dust without cohabitation, creating a body capable of taking, His divinity, which the finger of God has carved, that is to say, the Spirit coming upon the Virgin.

ID. Moreover, the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Christ is the power of the most high King, who by the coming of the Holy Spirit is formed in the Virgin.

GREG By the term overshadowing, both natures of the Incarnate God are signified. For shadow is formed by light and matter. But the Lord by His Divine nature is light. Because then immaterial light was to be embodied in the Virgin's womb, it is well said to her, The power of the Highest shall overshadow you, that is, the human body in you shall receive an immaterial light of divinity. For this is said to Mary for the heavenly refreshing of her soul.

THEOPHYL; You shall conceive then not by the seed of man whom you know not, but by the operation of the Holy Spirit with which you are filled. There shall be no flame of desire in you when the Holy Spirit shall overshadow you.

GREG. NYSS. Or he says, overshadow you, because as a shadow takes its shape from the character of those bodies which go before it, so the signs of the Son's Deity will appear from the power of the Father. For as in us a certain life-giving power is seen in the material substance, by which man is formed; so in the Virgin, has the power of the Highest in like manner, by the life-giving Spirit, taken from the Virgin's body a fleshly substance inherent in the body to form a new man. Hence it follows, Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you.

ATHAN. For we confess that which then was taken up from Mary to be of the nature of man and a most real body, the very same also according to nature with our own body. For Mary is our sister, seeing we have all descended from Adam.

BASIL; Hence also, St. Paul says, God sent forth his Son, born not (by a woman) but of a woman. For the words by a woman might convey only a mere passing expression of birth, but when it is said, of a woman, there is openly declared a communion of nature between the son and the parent.

GREG. To distinguish His holiness from ours, Jesus is stated in an especial manner to be born holy. For we although indeed made holy, are not born so, for we are constrained by the very condition of our corruptible nature to cry out with the Prophet, Behold, I was conceived in iniquity. But He alone is in truth holy, who was not conceived by the cementing of a fleshly union, nor as the heretics rave, one person in His human nature, another in His divine; not conceived and brought forth a mere man, and afterwards by his merits, obtained that He should be God, but the Angel announcing and the Spirit coming, first the Word in the womb, afterwards within the womb the Word made flesh. Whence it follows, Shall be called the Son of God.

GREEK EX. But observe, how the Angel has declared the whole Trinity to the Virgin, making mention of the Holy Spirit, the Power, and the Most High, for the Trinity its indivisible.

36. And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.

CHRYS. Seeing that his previous words had overcome the mind of the virgin, the angel drops his discourse to a humbler subject, persuading her by reference to sensible things. Hence he says, And, behold, Elisabeth your cousin, &c. Mark the discretion of Gabriel; he did not remind her of Sarah, or Rebecca, or Rachel, because they were examples of ancient times, but he brings forward a recent event, that he might the more forcibly strike her mind. For this reason also he noticed the age, saying, She also has conceived a son in her old age; and the natural infirmity also. As it follows, And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For not immediately at the beginning of Elisabeth's conception did he make this announcement, but after the space of six months, that the swelling of her womb might confirm its truth.

GREG. NAZ. But some one will ask, How is Christ related to David, since Mary sprang from the blood of Aaron, the angel having declared Elisabeth to be her kinswoman? But this was brought about by the Divine counsel, to the end that the royal race might be united to the priestly stock; that Christ, Who is both King and Priest, might be descended from both according to the flesh. For it is written, that Aaron, the first High Priest according to the law, took from the tribe of Judah for his wife Elisabeth, the daughter of Aminadab. And observe the most holy administration of the Spirit, in ordering that the wife of Zacharias should be called Elisabeth, so bringing us back to that Elisabeth whom Aaron married.

THEOPHYL; So it was then, lest the virgin should despair of being able to bear a son, that she received the example of one both old and barren about to bring forth, in order that she might learn that all things are possible with God, even those which seem to be opposed to the order of nature. Whence it follows, For there shall be no word impossible with God.

CHRYS. For the Lord of nature can do all things as He will, Who executes and disposes all things, holding the reins of life and death.

AUG, But whoever says, "If God is omnipotent, let Him cause those things which have been done to have not been done," does not perceive that he says, "Let Him cause those things which are true, in that very respect in which they are true to be false." For He may cause a thing not to be which was, as when He makes a man who began to be by birth, not to be by death. But who can say that He makes not to be that which no longer is in being? For whatever is past is no longer in being. But if aught can happen to a thing, that thing is still in being to which any thing happens, and if it is, how is it past? Therefore that is not in being which we have truly said has been, because the truth is, in our opinions, not in that thing which no longer is. But this opinion God can not make false; and we do not so call God omnipotent as supposing also that He could die. He plainly is alone truly called omnipotent, who truly is, and by whom alone that is, whatever in any wise exists, whether spirit or body.

AMBROSE; Behold now the humility, the devotion of the virgin. For it follows, But Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. She calls herself His handmaid, who is chosen to be His mother, so far was she from being exalted by the sudden promise. At the same time also by calling herself handmaid, she claimed to herself in no other way the prerogative of such great grace than that she might do what was commanded her. For about to bring forth One meek and lowly, she was bound herself to show forth lowliness. As it follows, Be it to me according to your word. You have her submission, you see her wish. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, signifies the readiness of duty. Be it to me according to your word, the conception of the wish.

GREEK EX. Some men will highly extol one thing, some another, in these words of the virgin. One man, for example, her constancy, another her willingness of obedience; one man her not being tempted by the great and glorious promises of the great archangel; another, her self-command in not giving an instant assent, equally avoiding both the heedlessness of Eve and the disobedience of Zacharias. But to me the depth of her humility is an object no less worthy of admiration

GREG. Through an ineffable sacrament of a holy conception and a birth inviolable, agreeable to the truth of each nature, the same virgin was both the handmaid and mother of the Lord.

THEOPHYL; Having received the consent of the virgin, the angel soon returns heavenward, as it follows, And the angel departed from her.

EUSEB. Not only having obtained what he wished, but wondering at her virgin beauty, and the ripeness of her virtue.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
35 posted on 03/25/2014 5:46:18 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Annunciation of Ustyug

30th-40-th of the 12 century
Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow

36 posted on 03/25/2014 5:46:52 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Apse mosaic, window level: 1. Annunciation

Jacopo Torriti

1296 (completed)
Mosaic
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

37 posted on 03/25/2014 5:47:16 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Duccio di Buoninsegna

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 43 x 44 cm
National Gallery, London

38 posted on 03/25/2014 5:47:45 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Power of Personal Freedom
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

 

Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, 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, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 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.

Introductory Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have given Mary to us as our Blessed Mother. Thank you. I know that she constantly intercedes on our behalf and that you listen to her prayer. I am confident in your mercy and love. You are guiding me home to spend eternity with you. I place all my trust in you. I offer you my weak, but grateful love in return.  

Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to embrace you in faith, hope, and love.

1. Sent from God: Too often we attribute too much of our achievements to our own doing. Our education, wealth, or technological ability can lead us to have a false sense of security in our ability to shape our world. Today’s Gospel reminds us that God’s plan for the salvation of the human race is his own initiative. He sends his Son into the world at a precise time and in a precise place. He prepares Mary beforehand with everything she will need to fulfill her mission as Mother of the Redeemer – a mission that she accepts in freedom and through faith. I do well to realize more and more that God is also the true protagonist of my own life.

2. Do Not Be Afraid: One of the constant refrains of the Gospel is Jesus’ admonition: “Do not be afraid.” When the Lord draws near, our natural tendency is to be afraid. We can be afraid of his presence. We can be afraid of what he might ask of us. We can be afraid of our own limitations in the face of the call to true conversion and holiness of life. We can be afraid of the apparent obstacles along the path of Christian discipleship. Like Mary, we need to overcome our fear by embracing God’s will with faith and love. As our confidence in God increases, our fear decreases. As our love increases, our fear disappears. Of what am I afraid in my relationship with the Lord? Am I surrendering my fear by giving myself in faith?

3. May It Be Done to Me: What a truly incredible thing it is to make the salvation of the human race dependent upon the free response of Mary! Mary’s “yes” to God shows us the power and transcendence of personal choice. It also sheds light on the importance of our own personal “yes” to God with regard to his plan for our lives. Mary’s loving, faith-filled consent to a plan she did not fully understand becomes the model of our own daily consent to the divine will as it manifests itself in our daily lives.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have remembered through this meditation that you are the one guiding my life and all of history. I need to be mindful that you always intend good for me, even if it is painful and purifying. So I should never be afraid of your hand in my life.  I believe and trust in you my Lord, but increase my faith, hope and love.

Resolution: I will embrace God’s will today as Mary did -- with faith and love.


39 posted on 03/25/2014 5:48:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Waiting for God

 

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words—Wait and Hope.” Alexandre Dumas’ masterpiece, The Count of Monte Cristo, concludes with this startling truth. But a question immediately presents itself: what are we waiting and hoping for? In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul provides an answer: “Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (8:19). Humanity, along with the whole created order, is waiting for the saving and illuminating action of God Himself. Now, waiting implies an awareness of our own insufficiency, and an awareness of our own insufficiency is the first step toward humility and patience. Thus, even on a purely human level, there is a kind of wisdom or virtue in being open to the intervention of that which is beyond nature: the supernatural, or divine.

Today, in the person of a young Jewish girl, we see this human wisdom finally swept up into divine action. Today, at the Annunciation, humanity ends its waiting in the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is the one who knows that she cannot reach God through her own power. She is the one who patiently waits in the hope that God will fulfill His promises of salvation to Israel. And, beyond all expectation, the fruit of this hopeful waiting is nothing less than God Himself: “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus … the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:31, 35). The Church, in the person of Mary, does not wait for any created reality, but for the almighty God.

The Annunciation is not only a salvific event, but also a theophany: a self-revelation of God. Scripture is full of theophanies, such as those to Moses and Elijah, but the Annunciation is a theophany of God as Trinity. In an unprecedented way, God now reveals Himself as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—for Gabriel is sent by the Father to tell Mary that she will bear the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. To each of these persons she is given the most intimate relationship imaginable. She is the Father’s perfect daughter; she is mother to the Son; and she is the spouse of the Spirit.

The Annunciation heralds the Incarnation, and the Incarnation heralds our salvation: “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). God was born of a girl that He might die for life of the world. Thus, we look throught the Incarnation to the Crucifixion, through the Crucifixion to the Resurrection, and through the Resurrection to our own life in Christ. For the life that Christ gives us is His own. We who have died in Baptism live God’s own life. It is for this that all creation awaited the coming of God. Who could have guessed that God would do this? Who would have thought this was possible? But, as Gabriel declares, “for God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

The unimaginable generosity of God shown in the Annunciation and Incarnation required one thing: Mary’s assent. Reflecting on this mystery, St. Bernard of Clairvaux imagined the tension that creation felt in waiting for Mary’s response to the plan that the angel announced:

“If you consent, we shall immediately be set free. We all have been made in the eternal Word of God, and look, we are dying. In your brief reply we shall be restored and so brought back to life… My lady, say this word which earth and hell and heaven itself are waiting for. The very King and Lord of all, he who has so desired your beauty, is waiting anxiously for your answer and assent, by which he proposes to save the world. Him whom you pleased by your silence, you will please now even more by your word. If you let him hear your voice, then, he will let you see our salvation.”

Our Lady’s fiat, her “yes,” has resounded throughout two millennia, ever since she uttered that word that brought the Word into her body. Her yes is the yes of the whole Church. It is the yes that the saints continuously shout in Heaven. It is the yes that those in Purgatory yearn to proclaim more clearly. It is the yes that we struggle to say every day. It is the yes that God desires to hear at this very moment. Who are we to say no?


40 posted on 03/25/2014 5:54:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 2

<< Tuesday, March 25, 2014 >> Annunciation
 
Isaiah 7:10-14
Hebrews 10:4-10

View Readings
Psalm 40:7-11
Luke 1:26-38

Similar Reflections
 

GET IT?

 
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God." —Luke 1:35
 

The Church encourages us to pray the "Angelus" on waking, at noon, and in the evening. Three times a day we pray and think about Jesus' Incarnation. When we pray the rosary, we refer to the Incarnation fifty-three times — each time we pray the "Hail Mary." We pray more about the Incarnation when we pray the first joyful mystery of the rosary. The Holy Spirit has led the Church to be preoccupied with Jesus' Incarnation.

On this feast day commemorating the Archangel Gabriel's announcement of the Incarnation, let's pray that the thousands and hundreds of thousands of "Hail Marys" we have prayed would hit home. May we realize and be stunned by the fact that God became a human being. Like the wise men, may we prostrate ourselves before the God-Man, the God-Baby (Mt 2:11). Like Joseph, may we be willing to change all our plans because of the Incarnation (Mt 1:20ff). Like Mary, may we offer our bodies and lives as living sacrifices to the Lord (Rm 12:1) and say: "Let it be done to me as You say" (Lk 1:38).

When we finally "get it," catch on, and wake up to the fact that God loves us so much that He became one of us, we begin to tremble in fear of the Lord. This "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (see Ps 111:10) and new life in Christ. Get it?

 
Prayer: Jesus, in the middle of praying the Creed at Mass today, may I bow down before you in adoration. May I never be the same after loving You today. Mary, pray for me now.
Promise: "Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!" —Is 7:11
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14), God made man!

41 posted on 03/25/2014 6:02:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Life Jewels Life Jewels (Listen)
A collection of One Minute Pro-Life messages. A different message each time you click.

42 posted on 03/25/2014 6:06:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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