Posted by: fvbcdm | April 8, 2013

Solemnity of the Annunciation (8 April 2013)

Ordinarily, we celebrate the solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25. However, this year that date fell during Holy Week, when no other celebrations can occur, so we have this beautiful feast on April 8, after the Easter Octave.  Let me put this question to you: we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady on December 8. When do we celebrate the conception of Our Lord? Maybe you’ve never thought of that; we don’t hear much about the conception of Jesus, yet you can be sure that he had one.

What do we mean by human conception? It is that moment and fact when a human being comes into being by the physical combination of the male and female genetic elements, and by the creation of a soul for that brand-new human being by God himself, since only he can create something spiritual.

You and I were conceived at the moment when our parents, by means of their sexual love, brought together the elements of physical generation. And when that new, but tiny, human being began to exist in its mother’s body, our heavenly Father gave it an immortal, rational soul. So now, all the elements for human life were present: male factors, female factors, and a spiritual soul created directly by God and not simply derived from the living bodies of parents.

When God our Father wanted to send his divine Son into our world as a member of our human family, the process was somewhat different. There was a female human being, whom we call Mary, the Blessed Virgin. There was no male human being who contributed his genetic material into the picture, since only God the Father would be the father of this utterly unique child. Rather, the Holy Spirit would miraculously create the physical elements by which the Blessed Virgin would conceive a baby. And then, a human soul would be created to “animate,” as we say, that new human person whom we call Jesus—Jesus Christ, our Savior.

All of that took place at the moment of the Annunciation. The archangel Gabriel came to Mary as God’s messenger to ask her to become the mother of the Savior. Recognizing God’s will in this, and totally willing to DO God’s will, she promptly answered: “Be it done to me according to your word.” At that moment, as Saint John tells us in his gospel, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” So now, in addition to being a Divine Person, this member of the Blessed Trinity also has a human body and a human soul. He is truly God and truly Man.

From that moment and for the rest of eternity, this physical, material universe of ours will contain something truly divine, namely the living body of Jesus which is united with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. What began at the moment of the Annunciation will never end. The Word “dwelt” among us; the Word “dwells” among us; the Word “will dwell” among us forever, as our Human and Divine Brother. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown., O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.

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