Annunciation of the Lord


Humility is the “golden rule”. “Advancing”, for Christians, means “lowering themselves”. It is precisely on the humble path, chosen by God, that love and charity proceed.

The whole history of faith, is made of humility and “speaks of humility to us all”. This likewise applies to the historical event of Jesus' Birth. It seems that God wanted every event “to be concealed, that it not be made public”, that it be, as it were, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit”. This is why, everything happens on the road of humility. God, humble, lowers himself: he comes among us and lowers himself — and he continues to humble himself even to the Cross.

“Mary”, at the
Annunciation, also humbles herself: she does not properly understand, but she is free: she grasps only the essential, and says ‘yes’. She is humble: ‘May God's will be done’. She entrusts her soul to God's will”. “Joseph, her betrothed, also lowers himself and takes this great responsibility upon his shoulders”. Joseph “also says ‘yes’ to the angel when in his dream the angel tells him of this truth.

The attitude of Mary and Joseph shows that “to reach us, God’s whole love takes the path of humility. The humble God who wanted to walk with his people”. “God, humble and so good. The patient God. This is different from the attitude of idols; idols are powerful and make themselves heard: ‘it is I who command here!’”.

Our God — for he is true, he is not a false God, he is true; he is not a wooden God made by men, he is real — thus he opted for the path of humility. All this love comes from this way of humility. Being humble does not mean following the road with one’s eyes cast down: no, no! Humility is what God as well as Mary and Joseph teach us. “Humility”, is Jesus' humility which ends on the Cross, and this is the golden rule for Christians: to persevere, to advance and to humble themselves. There is no other path. Unless I humble myself, unless you humble yourself, you are not Christian.

I think we should say “lowering ourselves”. Let us look at Jesus and ask for the grace of humility. If humility is absent love has no access; let us ask for the grace of
humility — from Our Lady, from St Joseph and from Jesus.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-12/pope-francis-the-annunciation-rivolutionizes-history.html

The passage from Luke’s Gospel that we have heard tells us the decisive moment in history, the most revolutionary. It is a turbulent situation, everything changes, history turns upside down. It is difficult to preach about this passage. And when at Christmas or on the day of the Annunciation we profess the faith to say this mystery we kneel down. It is the moment that everything changes, everything, from the root. Liturgically, today is the day of the root. The Antiphon that marks the meaning today is the root of Jesse, "from which a shoot will be born". God lowers himself, God enters history and does so in his original style: a surprise. The God of surprises surprises us (again).

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible for God!” Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.






Pope Francis   25.03.20  Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord      Luke 1: 26-38
Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent - Lectionary Cycle II

The Evangelist Luke could only know this from the account of Our Lady. Listening to Luke, we listened to Our Lady recount this mystery. We're before a mystery. Perhaps the best that we can do now is to reread this passage, thinking that it was Our Lady who told it.
At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee, called Nàzareth, to a virgin, betrothed to a man of David's house, named Joseph. The virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with you." She was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the 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?" The angel replied 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, Elizabeth, your relative, in her old age has also conceived a son and this is the sixth month for her, who was called barren: for nothing will be impossible to God." Then 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.
This is the mystery. 

The Pope ended the celebration with Eucharistic worship and blessing, inviting to do spiritual Communion. Below is the prayer recited by the Pope:
At your feet, oh my Jesus, I pronounce and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that sinks into its nothingness and in Your holy presence. I love you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, my Jesus, may I come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and for death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it.




Pope Francis   25.03.20 General Audience, Library of the Apostolic Palace Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord      Luke 1: 26-38

Pope Francis the Annunciation of the Lord  25.03.20

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Twenty-five years ago, on this same date of 25 March, which in the Church is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, St. John Paul II promulgated the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, on the value and inviolability of human life. 

The link between the Annunciation and the "Gospel of Life" is close and deep, as St. John Paul pointed out in his encyclical. Today, we find ourselves reviving this teaching in the context of a pandemic that threatens human life and the world economy. A situation that makes the words with which the encyclical begins feel even more challenging. Here they are: "The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Welcomed by the Church every day with love, it must be proclaimed with courageous fidelity as a good news story to people of all ages and cultures" (No. 1).

Like any evangelical proclamation, this one must be witnessed first and foremost. And I think with gratitude of the silent testimony of so many people who, in various ways, are caring for the sick, the elderly, those who are alone and most destitute. They live the Gospel of life, like Mary who, after accepting the angel's announcement, went to help her cousin Elizabeth who needed her. 

In fact, the life we are called to promote and defend is not an abstract concept, but always manifests itself in a person in the flesh: a newly conceived child, a poor outcast, a sick person alone and discouraged or in a terminal state, one who has lost his job or can't find work, a migrant rejected or ghettoized... Life manifests itself in concrete people.
Every human being is called by God to enjoy the fullness of life; and being entrusted to the maternal care of the Church, every threat to dignity and human life cannot fail to affect the her heart, in her maternal "womb". The defence of life for the Church is not an ideology, it is a reality, a human reality that involves all Christians, precisely because they are Christians and because they are human.

Unfortunately, the threats against people's dignity and lives continue even in this age of ours, which is the age of universal human rights; on the contrary, we are faced with new threats and new slavery, and legislation does not always protect the weakest and most vulnerable human life.

The message of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae is therefore more relevant than ever. Beyond emergencies, such as the one we are experiencing, it is a question of acting on the cultural and educational level to convey to future generations the attitude of solidarity, care, welcoming, knowing full well that the culture of life is not the exclusive heritage of Christians, but belongs to all those who, working for the construction of fraternal relationships, recognize the value of every person, even those who are fragile and suffering.
Dear brothers and sisters, every human life, unique and unrepeatable, has value in itself, it is invaluable. This must always be proclaimed again, with the courage of the word and the courage of actions. This calls for solidarity and fraternal love for the great human family and for each of its members.

Therefore, with St. John Paul II, who made this encyclical, with him I reiterate with renewed conviction the appeal that he made to everyone twenty-five years ago: "Respect, protect, love and serve life, every life, every human life! Only in this way will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!" (Enc. Evangelium Vitae, 5).