Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the day on which the angel Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary that she from all eternity had been chosen to be the Mother of God, and she gave her fiat, “Let it be done.”
From all eternity, God had willed that the Second Person of the Trinity would become man, take on our human nature without any loss of his divinity, without any change to his divine person. From all eternity, God willed that we would be redeemed from our sin, from our rejection of God’s will, and that Mary was his chosen instrument through whom he would work his plan of salvation. Mary was that “empty space” in which God would come into this world as a man.
Some say we Catholics put Mary on too high of a pedestal. God is the one who exalts Mary. Mary is the example of who we all are called to be. It was by divine choice and a singular grace given to Mary that she was conceived without the stain of original sin, that she was prepared by the merits of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, to be the person through whom God would assume humanity, and in doing so, exalt all of us to our dignity as sons and daughters of God.
Just as we are who we are by God’s design and his grace, so too, Mary is who she is by grace and divine choice. In her exaltation, we too are exalted.
Nine months from today is Christmas. Today’s celebration of the Annunciation marks God’s coming into the world, Jesus’ conception. On Christmas, we will celebrate his birth. Without today, that is Mary’s consent to the will of God, her cooperation with God’s grace and choice, Christmas would not exist.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee!