One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

March 25, 2010

For the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Hebrews 10:4-10
Isaiah 7:10-14 & 8:10
Luke 1:26-38

Today the Word of the Lord tells us he has given us the “sign ... deep as the nether world ... high as the sky!”
The sign is Emmanuel— “God Is with Us”— in person as a man of human flesh and blood, human emotion, human intellect, and human will.
As such, he grew to the fullness of manhood, “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried” [Apostles’ Creed].
After dying on the cross, Christ joined the poor ranks of the souls of the dead.
In the mystery of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Christ is the “sign ... deep as the nether world”: God who is with us as a man freely and faithfully even in death.
Through all of it, he is God consecrating himself to man in a new and everlasting covenant, and he is man consecrating himself to God in a new and everlasting covenant.
As the Word to the Hebrews said today, “we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ.”
We belong to God in life and in death.
However, the sign from the Lord is also “high as the sky.”
On the third day that would have known his death, Christ rose to new life.
In Christ, man has conquered sin, suffering, sadness, and death, has “ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”
In Christ, our human identity is no longer merely “deep as the nether world,” but is now “high as the sky.”
In Christ and in his Mother human identity is utterly “full of grace.”
We borrow Mary’s question, and turn it to our own use.
“How can this be...?”
Can we be full of grace “high as the sky”?
We know we still freely throw ourselves down beneath sin.
How should sinners ever come to be sons and daughters of God?
In the same way that a virgin came to be virginal mother and mother of God!
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
Because of the gift of his power, sinners can be reborn as holy sons and daughters of God, if they but choose freely to live as servants of the Lord, so that it may be done to them according to the angelic word.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit,

— you came to be born flesh and blood from the Virgin Mary, and—
your death brought life to the world.
By your holy Body and Blood,
free me from all my sins and from every evil,
keep me faithful to your teaching,
and never let me be parted from you. [The priest’s private prayer of preparation for Communion at Mass]

In the victory of his faithfulness, God is with us in his Body and Blood, so that by our own willing, flesh-and-blood faithfulness to him, we can be with him forever as his sons and daughters.

That God Be Glorified in All