Behold the Handmaid of the Lord

A Meditation as a Preparation for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the B.V.M.
March 25, 2010

Mary was in prayer when the Archangel Gabriel came and greeted her with the astounding words, "Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee." The implication of this announcement is that the maiden of Nazareth was filled with the life of God, for it is God Who is Grace, God Who is life itself, God Who brings all life into being and sustains all life in being. The chosen one of God, Mary the Immaculate one, lived in the enveloping reality of the Creator, relished the truths of revelation in Hebrew Scriptures, yet she was surprised by the stranger's greeting. Assuring as it was, she in all humility did not ever consider herself the one who would mother the awaited savior of the world, and in child-like simplicity responded, "behold the handmaid of the Lord."

The gaze of God is always on the humble, it is in this look of God that great things are done. When God looked on Mary with love, all the gifts He desired for her were in her possession and her response verified that she saw herself as nothing but a servant of the Lord God most high. This attitude left her completely opened to the saving action of God, then and for all times. This action of a lowly stance before God allowed Him to do the great things needed to refocus humankind in line with Divine Love, bringing back the intimate union of Creator and creature - of lover and the beloved. Now God would again walk with us in the midst of the darkness of our lives, offering joy, hope and peace which rises from a reverential fear of God. Mary's response shows us that knowledge of self does not lead to groveling admittance of service to and for the Lord as frightened slaves, rather it strengthens in a firm mind and heart a knowing of the truth that service, availability, responsiveness - loving without counting the cost - wins joy and peace beyond human understanding.

The long waiting for the Messiah ended in the unrehearsed Yes to Gabriel - the faithful messenger of the most high. The Word of the Most High spoke and the Spirit over shadowed the lowliest handmaid in the world - her consent allowed the wonders of God to be worked, to put into motion the unfolding drama of making all things possible for those who believe - for with God all things are possible — He takes delight in bringing all to its greatest potential, it wonder and magnificence.

The possibilities of God can never be measured, as too His mercy is without measure, but humble and contrite hearts alone can and will see what the Mighty can do and dose for those who purely love him. The fullness of grace we all desire will be one with "our natures salutary boast" when each and every one unites in intimate love by humble and sustaining prayer. With Mary Immaculate we can and must proclaim what we know and believe, that the Mighty One does great things for us — for we have heard the Word is flesh, that with our eyes of faith we see Our God, we touch Him on our tongues and look upon Him in the Mystery of the Real Presence as we witness to a joyful reality that - a flower has sprung from the root of Jesse and a star has arisen from Jacob, the Virgin has given birth to the Savior - Who is Christ the Lord!

Today, more than ever, in the History of Creation, mankind needs to open its mind to the desired truth that God is, that His love compels Him to give this love that all may love as He loves and in this burning love consume all that is not of love and draw all into the gift of loving salvation.

May the Lord and His many messengers find us watching in prayer as Mary Immaculate and hear us saying with committed minds, hearts and wills - "behold the handmaid [servant] of the lord, be it done unto me according to Your Word."