Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - It is always moving to think how the beginning of our Redemption, narrated in the Gospel of Saint Luke, happened quite simply in that extraordinary encounter between the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.
The reader of the Gospel learns of the existence of Mary in the event of the Annunciation, because precisely this exceptional announcement opens the new Era of grace: the New Testament.
Everything old prepares for the new : Mary is the new Eve because Christ is the new Adam. And with them it is for ever Christmas, the Nativity!
This marvellous unity of Son and Mother crosses a giant bridge: the bridge of our redemption, built down through the centuries. The wondrous closeness of Jesus and Mary now unites heaven and earth for ever: the Redeemer comes down from heaven thanks to his Mother’s ‘be it done unto me’ .
Let us listen to Luke’s description of the Angel’s announcement: “He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favour! The Lord is with you.' She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean,” (Lk 1, 28-29).
Mary is ‘troubled’ because “she asked herself what this greeting could mean”, as Luke explains.
It is sweet to stop to meditate on those words thinking of the humble idea this creature had of herself: filled with grace, she was aware that everything came from God, she attributed nothing to herself precisely because she was centred completely on Him and to Him alone she gave glory, in pure and total self forgetfulness.
The Virgin Mary, accepting with absolute availability and awareness the Incarnation of the Word, presents herself: “behold the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1, 38). She is the Mother, but she calls herself Handmaid, Servant! How different to ours is her most humble self awareness! She is the most humble, we …
We, the sons and daughters of the Church, ask this most humble Mother to help us imitate her so that like John the Baptist we may joyfully say: “This is the joy I feel, and it is complete. He must grow greater, I must grow less” (Jn 3, 29-30). (Agenzia Fides 13/9/2006 - righe 28, parole 362)