The Archangel Gabriel’s Annunciation of the birth of Jesus to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by growing in the Virtue of Humility so he can reject pride and do God’s will and by seeking the Fruits of Love, Patience, Kindness and Generosity from the Holy Spirit so he can be a blessing to others.
Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord – March 25 – Lk 1:26-38
After announced the miraculous conception of John the Baptist to the elderly Elizabeth and Zachariah, the Archangel Gabriel appears to the young virgin Mary (a teenager); a virgin had been prophesized to bear the Messiah (Is 7:14). The Blessed Virgin Mary is betrothed (in Jewish tradition, married but still living separate and celibate) to St. Joseph (likely in his 30’s), who is of the lineage of King David; the Messiah was prophesized to be born to a descendant of David (2 Sam 7). Both are from Nazareth, a disrespected backwater town in the rural Galilee; Nazareth is prophesized to be where the Messiah will live (Is 11:1; Mt 2:23).
Gabriel, the magnificent archangel, reverently addresses the Blessed Virgin Mary, not by her name, but by a title, “Full of Grace”, meaning God has already graced the Blessed Virgin Mary with Divine Life (she is the Immaculate Conception), and is a worthy vessel for God to Incarnate. Gabriel greets the Blessed Virgin Mary with the phrase, “The Lord be with you”, the same greeting given to God’s great warriors when He calls them to a great task, such as Moses, Gideon, and Joshua. What is this great task? Gabriel tells the Blessed Virgin Mary the Son of God will be conceived in her womb and she shall name the child, Jesus, meaning “God saves.” Jesus will establish the promised never-ending Kingdom of God.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is greatly troubled, but consoled by the Archangel. Gabriel urges the Blessed Virgin Mary to not be afraid, and that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her, allowing her to conceive the Son of God. “Overshadow” is the same description of God’s presence in the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle in which God resides during the Exodus (Ex 40:35); the Blessed Virgin Mary is the New Tabernacle, and the Son of God will reside in her womb. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, offers the perfect response in her fiat: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
The virtue of Humility, meaning “lowly”, comes from the Latin word, humus, meaning, “earth” or “soil”; to be humble is to be as lowly as dirt and is the absence of the vice of Pride. Be astounded by the Divine Humility of Jesus: the Son of God, Jesus perfectly submits to the will of the Father; Eternal, with Divine Knowledge and infinite Power, Jesus willingly takes on the limits of being in the flesh; Son of King David, Jesus submits to be born in a lowly backwater, to a Virgin and a simple carpenter rather than a family of earthly royalty and power.
Reject Pride and grow in Humility
Realize: Be astounded the Son of God is willing to humble Himself to the point of becoming Incarnate within the Virgin Mary.
Believe: Reflect upon the truth that Christ is Born of the Virgin Mary (CCC 484-511).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me grow in the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I reject pride, recognize my spiritual poverty, and always seek to imitate the Your humility.
Seek the Fruits of the Spirit
Realize: Born in Original Sin, it is impossible for men to fully imagine what life must be like without sin.
Believe: Reflect upon Mary Full of Grace (CCC 721-726, 744) and Original Sin (CCC 396-409, 416-419).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Love, Patience, Kindness, and Generosity so I can better imitate Your beautiful Virgin Mother and be a blessing to many souls.