Sun, 24 March 2019
(Is.7:10-14,8:10; Ps.40:7-11; Heb.10:4-10; Lk.1:26-38)
“Behold, I come to do your will.”
Today we celebrate the fact that the Word became flesh, that God became man through Mary and dwells among us to take away our sins. In this is fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name Him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us!’” She is the Virgin; He is the Son – we are they with whom He dwells. Praise God for His grace!
Obediently Jesus takes on the body prepared for Him by the Father for all ages; humbly He bows under the Hand of God. To come among us is His delight. For He shall fulfill the prescriptions of the old law – as is written, so shall it come to be. And in His blood poured out for our sakes, in the love He shares with us men, indeed shall be fulfilled the will of God. No longer need we wait or search in vain, for all that is written is accomplished in Him.
And Mary is, of course, the perfect reflection of the Lord’s obedience; it is she in whom He is formed. As He says, “Behold, I come,” she says, “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord.” As the Lord says, “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me. To do your will, O God, is my delight,” His Lady says, “May it be done to me according to your word.” And so by the obedience won from her by the angel, this Blessed Virgin “will conceive in [her] womb and bear a son, and [she] shall name Him Jesus”; and “the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” She in her innocence and by the fullness of grace at work in her believes the reply to her question, “How can this be?” She is assured by the miracle spoken of Elizabeth – for which this holy woman must certainly have prayed – and so the words of the angel: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” are realized; and she who believes becomes the instrument of our salvation.
Brothers and sisters, “we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.” His coming among us is more than the greatest miracle; it means life for our very souls. For by His incarnation and by the sacrifice of His flesh for our sakes is effected the cleansing of our sins and the drawing up of our lives unto heaven where He eternally dwells. As He has dwelt with us, so may we now dwell with Him who has come for this purpose. Let no fear grip your heart. Consecrate yourself to Him and to His holy sacrifice. And give yourself to His Mother, that she may form you in His image, and you may know the blessed obedience which both hold, and which is itself the means of our salvation.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.
Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, make us all as your handmaid,
ready to do your will.
YHWH, make us as selfless as Mary, as selfless as your Son, offering our bodies to your service, caring only for the salvation of others’ souls. Freely let us give ourselves to your will, that your Son may work through us.
A Virgin conceives and bears a Son, LORD, and so your Word is fulfilled; your Word now walks among us. This Virgin you prepared from all eternity to accomplish your will of saving souls. Your own heart you placed within her, one of selfless sacrifice, and now as the angel comes to her, she is ready to accept your Word.
Upon hearing of her cousin Elizabeth, she is convinced that the angel is from your side, LORD; hearing answer to her sincerest of prayers, she knows you are in this Word. Did she not perhaps offer her virginity for her cousin’s fertility? Certainly her purity is blessed with the greatest fruitfulness, even as she who was thought barren prepares to give birth to a son.
Make us so fruitful, dear God. Let us too lay down our lives, as has your Son, as has His Mother, that we might be of your generation, we pray.