25.03.2020 — Mary’s special mission

Annunciation of the Lord, Wednesday – 25th March 2020 – Luke 1,26-38

Mary’s special mission

The annunciation of Jesus’ birth builds up with the dialogue between the angel Gabriel, who was sent from God and Mary, the recipient of the vision on earth. The phrase “the Lord is with you” is found in an angel’s message elsewhere only in Gideon’s dream-vision recorded in Judg. 6. There the angel of the Lord greets Gideon with these words: “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior” (Judg.6,12). Mary knows her Scriptures and perhaps knows that this same greeting given to Gideon is followed by a divine message, which, in Gideon’s case, involves an assignment. With this greeting the evangelist puts Mary in the group of those who are called by God to fulfill a special mission in the history of Israel. The nature of the assignment to Mary is quite surprising. She is given the great vocation of bringing forth the Messiah in bodily form. Mary’s objection, like those of Abraham, Moses, Gideon and Zechariah before her, is by now expected. Abraham and Zechariah each plead advanced age. Gideon complains he is from the smallest tribe and the least in his own family. When Mary objects, Gabriel gives a sign to confirm the authenticity of the message. For Mary, the convincing sign is that her relative Elizabeth, who has received God’s favour too, is now in her sixth month of pregnancy, though barren for many years. Finally she responds to fulfill God’s mission. She gives her whole-hearted consent to the plan of God which had been revealed to her, and declared her total disponibility and active readiness towards God.