First Reading: Is 7:10-14; 8:10; Psalm: 40. R. v. 8a. 9a; Second Reading: Heb10:4-10; Gospel: Lk 1:26-38
GOD HAS COME TO SAVE US
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Today is exactly nine months from Christmas; a day that the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. The angel Gabriel’s message to Mary was God’s divine plan to cancel out the generational faults of Adam and Eve. Mary became the new Eve to redeem the fault of the old Eve. While Eve was beguiled by the serpent; an angel ministered to Mary. While Eve brought us generational sin by her disobedience; Mary brought us eternal salvation by conceiving Christ the Saviour. While Eve lost the God-given sanctifying grace; Mary was proclaimed full of grace. Eve’s pride led to her disobedience and downfall. Mary’s humility won her God’s favour and exaltation.
These contrasts between Eve and Mary reverberates God’s divine plan to cleanse the evil consequences of the Tempter’s action. God did this using the obedience of a woman to correct the disobedience of another woman. God is on a mission to perfect our souls once again through sanctifying grace in Jesus Christ; the grace we lost at the first fall. The mystery of the incarnation therefore is the triumphant tale of God’s victory over Satan who beguiled Eve and consequently snatched the innocence of Eve’s descendants for ages. Mary is the gateway through which this salvific mission of God will come to fruition.
Mary, full of grace, would conceive the Divine Son of God who would perfect our souls with the gift of sanctifying grace through the sacraments. “Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love.”(CCC 2000). Sanctifying grace is simply the life of God within our soul; that grace that heals our soul of sin and it makes holy so that we can participate in the life of God. We lost this grace at the first fall. This was what Jesus came to restore again.
The agent of this sanctifying grace of God is the sacraments of the Church. For through baptism original sin is washed away and our souls are imbued with sanctifying grace. The Solemnity of the Annunciation therefore reminds us of God’s divine plan through Jesus Christ to save our souls from eternal death. The role of Mary in this mission of salvation suggests that as creatures of God, we can be powerful vessels that God can use to defeat our adversary the devil as we journey towards our salvation. But we can only do this through humility and honest effort to holiness of life.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord God, we thank you for the gift of our saviour Jesus Christ. Help us by your grace to emulate Mary his mother in humility and holiness of life. Amen.