For the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Two concerns consumed the mind and heart of Christ on earth.
These were worship and salvation.
Worship: “Glory to God in the highest!”
Salvation: “Peace on earth to men on whom his favor rests!”
The angel-song at his birth is his life-song, his mission.
Christ is perfect worship of the Father.
Christ is perfect salvation of mankind.
His perfect worship of the Father and his perfect salvation of mankind continue on earth through the power of the Spirit and the free collaboration of men and women.
We might ask, “How did this begin?”— just as the Blessed Virgin asks the angel today, “How shall this come to be?”
The angel tells both how it came to be and how it continues to come to be in the lives of all mankind.
The Holy Spirit,
the Power of the Most High,
will come upon you
and overshadow you.
In the presence of God’s angel, Mary stood in Nazareth as the representative of all human flesh and all human nature.
She stood in Nazareth as the representative of our whole race and our whole history.
She stood for us under the shadow and power of the Spirit of God Most High.
By the power of the Holy Spirit and the collaboration of human consent, she conceived God the Son of the Heavenly Father.
This is the pattern for the workings of grace throughout history and throughout our lives: collaboration between the power of God and the free consent of human beings.
The power of God and the cooperation of human free will— these two always work together in all sincere worship.
These two always work together to bring us to salvation.
Christ in flesh and blood is God the Eternal Son.
He is also the flesh and blood of Mary’s “yes”.
He is the incarnation of the human race’s “yes” to God.
By human birth and by his own intention, he was already the salvation of our race.
He was already the perfect worship of the Father.
His death was his final fulfillment of offering up everything that he is as man for the glory of the Eternal Father, for us and for our salvation.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word was made flesh and blood.
On Good Friday, by the power of the Eternal Spirit, [cf. Heb. 9:14] the Word offered flesh and blood in an all-powerful, saving sacrifice of worship.
In him our nature and our bodies have come to new birth.
In him our sin has died.
In him our nature and our bodies have risen and ascended to the Father in heaven.
In him the power of the Spirit overshadows us as the new sons and daughters of God.
Let all this come to be in us according to the Word of the Lord.
Yet, God’s Word waits for our word.
The Body of Christ.
The Blood of Christ.
Amen, Lord, we choose to be your servants.
You have served us unto death.
Let us serve you unto— into— Life.
Let him who is mighty do great things in us.
Let us let him.