“…LET IT BE TO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD” (Luke 1:38)
????Isa 7:10-14, 8:10; Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11 (R.v.8a, 9a); Heb 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38
????”…LET IT BE TO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD” (Luke 1:38)
It is about 9 months to Christmas from now. Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of the promised saviour of the world. As childbirth is not something that comes spontaneously, the Church looks back to the moment which initiated the fulfilment of that promise. The high point of that moment is in Mary’s response to the Angel’s message, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). That is what the Church celebrates in the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
In that response, we see a reversal of two things that led man into sin – disobedience and faithlessness. It was the disobedience of man that separated him from God. And God’s desire to bring him back initiated the first promise of salvation in Gen 3:15. Again the faithlessness of Ahaz led to another prophecy concerning the saviour (cf. Isa 7:10-14).
Note that the reason why the faith of Ahaz was failing him was because of an impending war from the kings of Syria and Ephraim. He was not sure he could withstand them, hence he decided to seek help from Assyria. The prophet came at that point with the prophecy in Isa 7; the promise of the saviour. But Ahaz refused to listen.
The message of the Angel must have had the same effect of fear and uncertainty in the life of Mary, and so she asked, “How will this be, since I know not man?” (Luke 1:34). She knew the danger of having a child outside wedlock, which would include public disgrace and being stoned to death (cf. Num 5:11-31; Deut 22:20, 21). But, unlike Ahaz, she chose to do the will of God as the psalmist said (cf. Ps 40:8, 9).
It is by making that fundamental option to do the will of God that Mary cooperated with God in seeing that his promised salvation came to fulfilment. Hence, the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that what pleases God most is not our offerings or sacrifices, but our desire to do his will (cf. Heb 10:4-10). In doing the will of God, we shall continue to conceive and give birth to the Messiah in our lives and in the world.
This is equally an important message to those who feel so disappointed with the Church for working with the government and closing up churches. God is not only interested in your physical worship. Your spiritual disposition to worship him and do his will is more important to him. Cry to him in righteousness from the secret places of your life and all will be well again.
May God give us the grace to do his will at all times. And in doing so, may we gain the salvation he has prepared for his people, and also spread this salvation to all the ends of the earth. Amen.
I wish you a grace-filled and fulfilling day. Peace be with you.