The solemnity of Annunciation–the nice thriller of Gabriel saying to Mary that she can be the Mom of “the Son of God”–opens a brand new pathway for our anxious world immediately.
To embark on this journey, the Church invitations us to consecrate ourselves to Jesus by her — and so we place ourselves in addition to our communities and even our nations in her coronary heart. It’s throughout the act of religion that she made that we too will obtain Jesus till His reign extends by us as nicely.
Within the angelic greeting, a brand new sovereignty is revealed, an authority to manipulate. The legitimacy of this authority isn’t rooted in earthly powers however as a substitute within the achievement of a divine promise that doesn’t cross away. Not like any kingdom of this world, this kingdom rests not on the non permanent peace that comes by conquest of an enemy. As a substitute, the “sure” of a lady to God’s promise has introduced a brand new form of peace. The conception of Jesus within the womb of Mary introduces into this passing world a brand new order and legitimacy in human affairs that may by no means cross:
Then the angel mentioned to her: Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you could have discovered favor with God. Behold, you’ll conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and also you shall identify him Jesus. He will likely be nice and will likely be referred to as Son of the Most Excessive, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he’ll rule over the home of Jacob endlessly, and of his kingdom there will likely be no finish. (Luke 1:30-33)
Mary’s openness to the blessings of God chart a manner ahead for humanity towards an everlasting sacred order earlier than which the exigencies of every historic second should yield. Not by compelled subjection or brutality, however by love, this can be a path of humility and fearlessness on which the Son of the Most Excessive leads us. Consecrating ourselves to Jesus by Mary expresses the dedication to observe this pathway. To set one’s existence below an influence and authority not of this world is to open oneself to what’s primordial, an order of issues extra highly effective than the dysfunction of the current second. This new kingdom isn’t in competitors with what passes away however rescues every thing that’s noble and true about our lives from each threatening evil. Rooted in a thriller that transcends time, all earthly kingdoms fall and rise earlier than this throne, and Mary who’s the primary to obtain this into her coronary heart can also be the one who helps us sing together with her, “He has forged down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.”
Not like the dominion introduced by Gabriel, the kingdoms of this passing world come to an finish. It is because we have a tendency, as people and communities, away from humility earlier than the reality of our state of affairs. But nice humility is named for because the widespread good typically eludes our grasp. We don’t perceive what actually binds us collectively and we’re weak within the face of our personal avarice. With out humility earlier than a reference level that transcends our personal needs, the muse on which we construct our communities lacks the solidity of fact and, over time, fails to bear the load of human existence.
On the brink of a world struggle, immediately’s earthly kingdoms search salvation by technological power. It’s presumed that developments in financial and navy capabilities by advances in expertise can construct and defend a greater humanity. Certainly, super wealth, honor, and management have been realized by technological development.
But there’s a caveat. When nations or companies depend on the facility of expertise to coerce or manipulate, it’s on the expense of their very own legitimacy and they also fall. The legitimacy of any establishment rests on the diploma to which it protects human dignity and freedom. Such issues that circulate from our divine picture and likeness don’t cross even after we act towards them. After we betray them, they testify towards us as a result of we betray ourselves. That is true of our personal acts of freedom …. it’s also true of our establishments and companies. Whether or not our personal tent cities or new refugee camps, we’ve got lived to see that new methods to nudge, disgrace, and coerce into compliance don’t yield a cohesive society or world peace. The alternative is true. The extra limits imposed on human dignity, the extra uncontrolled the discord turns into. That is as true for nations as it’s for neighborhoods, dinner tables, and hearts.
The Annunciation opens humanity to the dominion of heaven, a kingdom all about saving human dignity from dehumanizing powers. Solely below the rule of Christ can human freedom lastly discover room to unfold and disclose its full potential – not only for people but in addition within the societies we kind collectively. It is because the throne of this kingdom doesn’t relaxation on coercion or manipulation however on love and love alone. But this love is hidden, disguised in poverty, rejection, and humility.
To consecrate ourselves to Jesus by Mary is to decide on this pathway even when it might appear that the highly effective and mighty of this world are in management. It’s to dwell by religion that the fact of the God who saves us is ever larger and extra current – extra actual to the human actuality than what appears standard, comfy, and handy. Mary opened the guts of humanity to this fact. Thus, we entrust worldly powers to the Lord by her till our personal hearts sing, “He who’s mighty has finished nice issues.”
Picture: Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, Wikimedia Commons