In the order of nature, the first blossoms of spring flowers come in the month of March. In the order of grace, March is also the month of important feast days. The first, on the 19th, celebrates an extraordinary man: Saint Joseph. The second, on the 25th, honors an exceptional woman: the Virgin Mary, in the prodigious event of the Annunciation.
The prodigious event of the Annunciation
Because this event changed history and reversed the course of events it is worthwhile to ponder its meaning and measure its consequences. We actually enter a new era starting from this announcement to Mary: “when the completion of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman ...” (Gal 4: 4).
I often think about this specific time in history where the fate of the world was carried in the consciousness of this woman named Mary. In this decisive moment, Mary held the fate of mankind in her hands. That is perhaps why I like the statue in the Chapel of the Rue du Bac in Paris so much. It represents Mary holding a globe in her hands, i.e. all mankind, and therefore you and me. She had a royal freedom: what was she going to reply? Mary’s response fell simply and precisely from her lips: “Fiat! Yes, I agree.”
A true deluge of grace came to the world from this moment onwards
Thanks to Mary’s "yes" the Savior would be born.
Thanks to Mary’s "yes" the Gospel would be proclaimed.
Thanks to Mary’s "yes" Death would be defeated.
Thanks to Mary’s "yes" Hope would come to the world.
No need to look any further for the reasons of our immense gratitude. It is enough to take a look at some of the titles given to the Virgin Mary: Cause of our joy; Gate of Heaven; Morning Star ... Certainly, this feast of the Annunciation was and remains a true springtime for the world. The Church has always understood the point well by reminding the faithful morning, noon and evening in the beautiful prayer of the Angelus, which summarizes and brings to us the original grace of Salvation.
The Angelus repeats every day that God has entered fully into our time and that the present moment is now filled with his presence: “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Mt 28: 20). We are invited to open up to His presence, to devote to Him all the hours of the day and night, those that are sunny and those who are invaded by shadows, our hours of fullness and our final hours, our joyful hours our times of distress, “now and at the hour of our death.”
"Do not be afraid to love the Blessed Virgin too much ...”
Reflecting on this mystery, Therese of Lisieux, who entered the Carmel of Lisieux “the day the Carmel was celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation” (Manuscript 4.68), wrote at the end of her life: “O dearest Mother, despite my smallness, I have the Almighty in me like you, but I do not tremble at my weakness: the mother’s treasure belongs to the child.” (PN 54)
Re-reading some of my correspondence recently I came across these lines that are perhaps mysteriously addressed to my readers:
“Do not be afraid to love the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her enough and you will make Jesus very happy because the Blessed Virgin is His Mother.” (LT 92)
Father R. Zambelli