April 2, 2014
By Father William Muench
During Lent each year, there are a few feast days that interrupt the time of penance with a spirit of celebration.
On this day, we commemorate the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary – to proclaim to her that she was to be a mother, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God. This feast is very central to our Christian Catholic faith. Jesus was to become one of us – a human. We call this the Incarnation.
Mary is a human being like each one of us, a woman like all other women, a mother like all other mothers.
We are a blest race; we are truly special as one of us was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus.
On the Feast of the Annunciation, we celebrate and commemorate the incarnation of Jesus. Jesus chose to become one of us. Jesus lived our human life completely just as each of us will.
He was born of a mother, raised in a family, moved among us, taught and guided us, and died as we must – leading to his resurrection. Our human race has been blessed and consecrated – Jesus became one of us – one of our human race.
Jesus was one of us so no one can turn to the Lord in prayer and say “You don’t know what I am going through.” Our Lord has experienced it all – this human existence.
Thomas Merton wrote this, “It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race!
Astronomers tells us that, so far in their investigations, we are the only ones in this vast universe. It is truly a wonder – this universe has been forming for 13.7 billion years and there is only us. The Son of God chose to come to us on this lonely planet, to be one of us, to transform this human race into a sacred people, a consecrated people. Jesus was once one of us so it is okay to be human.
Today our Church must continue to bring the presence of Jesus to our world. Jesus, the Son of God, blessed our race by becoming one of us – Jesus is so important to us. Pope Francis suggests that our Church must be like a field hospital, right up on the front line.
In an article in America Magazine, Joseph Kelly suggests that when anyone works in a field hospital, they cannot be afraid of the dark.
He then quotes Pope Francis, who says this, “The ministers of the Gospel (by the way, that is all of us) must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost.”
When we know Jesus – and when we are close to Jesus – we can be the kind of disciples who will truly lead others through that dark night.