The Annunciation

Friends in Christ,
today is the Feast of the Annunciation. It is the day which commemorates the moment when the Son of God took human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary, 9 months before Christmas. And so it is a feast of our Lord and of Our Lady.
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The great Dom Gueranger gives us thoughts to ponder for this day, about the encounter between the angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. He says that while we consider this encounter, we should think of another encounter, between Eve and the Serpent. If we will take notice, Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.
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In the garden of Eden there is a virgin and an angel; and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel; but the angel of Eden is a spirit of darkness, and he of Nazareth a spirit of light.
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In both instances it is the angel that has the first word. ‘Why,’ said the serpent to Eve, ‘has God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?’ His question implies contempt for the frail woman, and he hates the image of God which is in her.
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On the other hand, the angel of light, Gabriel approaches the Virgin of Nazareth in peace; and how respectfully he bows before her: ‘Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee!’ He shows respect for the image of God that is in her.
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Back in Eden, Eve soon looks longingly at the forbidden fruit. She wants the independence it is to bring her.  She takes the fruit, and death takes possession of her: death of the soul and ultimately death of the body.
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But at Nazareth Mary has heard the angel’s explanation; the will of heaven is made known to her, and she bows before God’s will, and says to the angel: ‘Be it done to me according to thy word. As St. Irenaeus said, the new Eve repaired the disobedience of the first Eve.
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This event now makes the relation between the eternal Word and a Woman, the relation of Son and Mother; and it gives God a means by which he can triumph over the Devil. Never was there a more humiliating defeat for Satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now crushes his head by her faithful obedience. God would not choose a man for the instrument of His vengeance, the humiliation of Satan would not have been great enough. He chose woman.
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Mary, help us also, to crush Satan’s power in our life, and allow Christ to be born daily in us.

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