Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feast of the Annunciation

Good morning. Totus Tuus! Totally yours! “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” This is the response of our Blessed Mother to the announcement that she is to conceive and give birth to Our Savior. This morning’s Gospel from Luke tells us that Mary submitted herself totally to the will of God. This likewise is the commitment we make to our spouse in marriage, a commitment without reservation, without any exceptions or out-clauses. This idea of husband and wife being totally submissive to one another, of being totally there one for the other is a rather foreign concept in today’s world. These concepts of self-denial, gift of self, and commitment are values that don’t tend to play well in today’s world. Such ideas don’t sell newspapers. Speaking of newspapers, I ran across an article yesterday from the New York Times, Once Rare in Rural America, Divorce Is Changing the Face of Its Families, which in a nut shell suggests that rural America has arrived, that women in rural America have caught up with the rest of progressive America. I can’t say that I was at all surprised by the tone of this article. To begin with, it was posted in the New York Times, which typically disavows itself from anything remotely suggestive of virtue or substance, and secondly we live in a culture that offers little support for marriage as an institution. It just isn’t politically correct these days to be highly supportive of marriage. Why, after all you might be viewed as not being supportive of those who are not married. And of course there is that same sex couple thing, you know, the movement toward legislatively redefining the meaning of “marriage.” Donald Cardinal Wuerl offers some insight into this effort to change the definition of the word “marriage” in a recent column in the National Catholic Register. Yes, it is indeed an odd world in which we live; what would we be celebrating today if Mary had caught wind in the rural town of Nazareth that it was time to rise up and free herself from male oppression? Or what might we be celebrating today if we decided to change the definition of “conception” or “child-birth”? What if, as in present day Sioux County Iowa, Mary, betrothed to Joseph, in rural Galilee decided that obedience to God and commitment to vows were just quaint, idyllic ideas? Thanks be to God that wasn’t the case. No, as the ancient troparion for today announces “Today is the beginning of our salvation.”

Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"

Today we celebrate Mary saying “Yes” to her conceiving Our Lord and Savior. we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

Totus Tuus! Make a great day!

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