Annunciation homily at St Paul d'Abbotsford March 25, 2017


Father Claude Sarrasin

Annunciation homily, March 25, 2017


Today is the beginning of salvation, the new beginning of man in God. Today we hear on Mary’s lips the response: I am the Lord’s handmaid, may it be done to me according to your word. May your word be accomplished in me.


This is an echo of the “Here I am” of the Son of God (Hebrews 10:5-7; Ps 40), the Fiat He pronounced coming into the world: I have come to do Your will. The Son of God gives the efficacy of His will, the efficacy of His consent to the Lamb’s sacrifice, first of all to His Mother. Chronologically it is backwards, but theologically Mary owes to her Son the perfection of her Yes, just as she owes to Him her Immaculate Conception.


“Full of grace” says the angel - this comes already from her Son’s death - stupefying marvel - God recreated Man’s heart in Mary - the first restored human heart by the power of His sacrifice, His offering. We have all received from His fullness, grace for grace (Prologue of St John). Today, in Nazareth, Mary learns of her fullness of grace, unknown to her beforehand. You will conceive and bear a Son without a man, under the shadow of the Spirit. God will do it all. Mary’s self-giving today, its perfection comes from her Son.


Our faith is hardly great enough to contemplate this mystery - chronology is important to us and gets in the way. During Advent there is an ancient hymn we sing at Complines: Redemptoris Mater: Mother of the Redeemer, you remain the only door open to Heaven. All other human hearts were closed to God. Today we witness what God can do in a life, with a heart open to God, with no looking-back at self, insecurity, worry - with only trust and surrender at what God has done and has wanted to do from the very beginning. She is the first one on this path - the only open door. The Lord knocked, and the door opened.


In the celebration of this Feast we will receive the Lamb she bore, the bloodless Host, the Body offered up in Hebrews, the Lamb of God. In Communion we receive the Lamb on the Cross, the infinite power of His Love touches everyone to the very ends of the earth and time. On the Cross, He consents, and at the foot of the Cross, so does she. And she hears the words: “Here is your Son” in recompense. Her motherhood, begun with the Annunciation, spreads out to all humanity. She welcomes all the brothers and sisters of her Son, to form them in Christ as she formed a Body for HIm in her womb. The heart that opens today receives Infinite Love. Totally Mother, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of us all. On the path of Lent, in our battles whatever they may be, the light of the Annunciation shines forth, the beauty of Mary’s consent, the beauty of each one of our consents. Here is the Lamb of God - we hear this at Mass - may we truly consent to receiving the Savior of the world who comes to recreate us in grace.