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I.    Mary and the Angel Gabriel

An angel, a messenger, appeared to Mary to proclaim what she had already received from God: "Hail, full of grace." Yes, God gives graces to all but he gave it to Mary in its fullness. In turn, the angel received unquestioning obedience from her. Then the angel announced a message from God, a gift from God, an assignment: "The Lord is with you," the Creator of the universe which the universe cannot contain shall dwell in your womb. Though unable to understand the enormity of the mystery, Mary submitted with all humility.  Because of her "Fiat", God in turn promised to give mankind all the graces it needs to be holy and be united to God.

It was, therefore, Mary's hospitality to the God made man while in her womb that made mankind deserving to receive all the graces it needs for salvation, making her deservingly called the Mediatrix of all graces.

II.   The Angel Hastens

As was the practice, Mary, betrothed to Joseph, was living in his house, but not together. Thus, the man watches over and protects the virginity of his betrothed. They were about to be married and be together. But this must not occur before the fulfillment of the mystery of the Annunciation.

The angel was not taking Mary away from Joseph. Mary was giving herself first to God, which shows that one can be wedded to God without having to leave one's spouse. By her humility and submission to God's will, Mary was being promoted from mere natural mother to become spiritual mother of the human race. Thus, in a Christian family, husbands must be spiritual fathers rather than mere natural fathers; mothers must be spiritual mothers than mere natural mothers. And an ideal Christian wife is one who is first wedded to Christ before she is wedded to her husband.

III.   Eve and Mary

The Annunciation was the beginning of a vast and wonderful repair work to be done by God on the destruction caused by Adam and Eve. A woman caused the downfall of the human race; a woman raised man back to God. A devil approached Eve; an angel appeared to Mary. The devil tempted Eve to disobey and cast down the human race; and angel appeared to Mary to receive her obedience and raise up the human race. The devil urged infidelity; the angel, fidelity to God's will. The first woman believed the tempter; Mary believed her Maker. Eve brought destruction; Mary, salvation.

Mary was deserving to receive God the Son physically in her womb because she had first received Him spiritually in her heart. Let us repent and be humble; let us obey the commands of Christ that we may be worthy to receive Him in our hearts. Then, maybe, this Christmas, Christ won't spend the night in a stable.

St. Peter Chrysologus: Sermo, 140 On Luke 1:26-29 







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