Lent blog: Day 32 – HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION

Published Thu, 25/03/2021 by

In my blog yesterday, I wrote that Jesus’ human will was effortlessly at one with the Father’s will.  There will be something more to say about that on Maundy Thursday, a qualification to make, but for now I’m happy to stand by that statement.   

The purpose of the Incarnation was to make straight what was crooked within human nature – our propensity to go our own way, not God’s way.  The Psalmist pictures Christ coming into the world, saying: “Just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book, ‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will’” (Psalm 39(40).7-8).  Not to do my own will, but yours.

Jesus proclaimed in his preaching, “The kingdom of God is close at hand” (Mark 1.15).  When he encountered someone sincerely trying to follow God’s will (the Scribe who asked for his interpretation of the Law), he said: “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12.34).  In the prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10).

Mary, as she acquiesced to God’s will that she should become the mother of his only-begotten Son, was also obedient to all that God wanted to achieve in her and through her: “Let it be done to me according to your word,” she said to the angel Gabriel (Luke 1.38).  Prepared for her unique role by the grace of her immaculate conception, her obedient and humble consent was nevertheless needed before the incarnation could take place.

Today, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Our Saviour, we thank God for his sublime love for us when he stooped down in merciful love to redeem us and invite us to a share in his divine life, through the obedience of his Son.  And we commit ourselves again to seek his grace day by day – to be obedient to his will; and to repent as soon as we realise we have strayed from the path or fallen short – echoing the words of the psalmist and of our Lady as we say, “Let what you have said be done through me”.

MICHAEL KIRKHAM