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Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016 Feast of the Annunciation

Baruch, Chapter 6, Verse 64
Know, therefore, that they are not gods; do not fear them.


Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (Lk. 1:18)

“Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” (Mk: 10:49)

Christ calls us to a greater purpose:

No man or woman of good will can renounce the struggle to overcome evil with good. This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails. This is the teaching of the Gospel, restated by the Second Vatican Council: "the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love"…Christians must be convinced witnesses of this truth. They should show by their lives that love is the only force capable of bringing fulfillment to persons and societies, the only force capable of directing the course of history in the way of goodness and peace…By Christ's death and resurrection, made sacramentally present in each Eucharistic celebration, we are saved from evil and enabled to do good. Through the new life which Christ has bestowed on us, we can recognize one another as brothers and sisters, despite every difference of language, nationality and culture. In a word, by sharing in the one bread and the one cup, we come to realize that we are "God's family" and that together we can make our own effective contribution to building a world based on the values of justice, freedom and peace.[1]

Feast of the Annunciation[2]

THIS feast is so called from the announcement to the Blessed Virgin, by the archangel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of the Messiah. In the Introit of the Mass the Church refers to this high dignity of Mary’s: “All the rich shall entreat thy countenance; after her shall virgins be brought to the King her neighbors shall be brought to thee in gladness and rejoicing. My heart hath uttered a good words, I speak my works to the King.”

“O God, Who didst please that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant to Thy suppliants that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be blessed by her intercession with Thee.”

Instruction on the Angelic Salutation, Hail Mary.

Why is, this prayer called the “Hail Mary, “or “Angelic Salutation?” Because it begins with the words which the archangel Gabriel addressed to the Blessed Virgin when he announced to her that she should be the Mother of God.

Of what does the Angelic Salutation consist? 1. of the words of the archangel Gabriel. 2. of the words of St. Elizabeth. 3. of words which have been added thereto by the Catholic Church.

Which are the words of the archangel Gabriel? “Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.”

What is the meaning of these words? The words “Hail Mary” indicate that profound veneration for the Blessed Virgin which was felt by the archangel Gabriel, and which we, in imitation of his example, ought also to cherish. The words full of grace remind us that God bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin greater graces than upon all men and angels together and that not for herself alone, but for us also, they therefore encourage us to pray to Mary with fervor and confidence, that by her powerful intercession she will obtain for us the graces necessary for our salvation. “The Lord is with thee” these words express the peculiar complacency with which God has regarded her, on account of which He wrought in her special miracles of wisdom, omnipotence, and benignity. Let us rejoice with Mary over these prerogatives, and implore her to intercede for us, that God may be with us also, to sustain us by His almightiness, to govern us by His wisdom, to incite us to all that is good by the fire of His infinite love. Finally, the words “Blessed art thou among women” are as much as to say Thou art the happiest of all women, since thou alone of them all hast no stain of sin on thee thou art chosen to be the Mother of God; thou shalt conceive Him by the Holy Ghost, and shalt bring Him forth without losing thy virginity. Thus it was that the angel saluted the most blessed Virgin, and yet there are men who are ashamed thus to salute Mary, and to give praise for the graces which God conferred upon her.

Which are the words of Elizabeth, and what do they mean? “And blessed is the fruit of thy womb the word blessed is equivalent to praised. In saying these words, therefore, we desire that the fruit of Mary’s womb, Jesus, may be worshipped and praised by all men.

Which are the words which the Catholic Church has added? To the words * blessed is the fruit of thy womb she has added “Jesus”, in order thereby to explain them, and to indicate that this prayer is to be offered in the name of Jesus. There upon follow the words, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

What do these words mean? With the words, “Holy Mary,” we apply to her who is full of grace as our intercessor, and thereby are reminded to strive to imitate her holiness, if we would be sure of her intercession, and of being heard before God. We call her “Mother of God,” because she brought forth Jesus, the Son of God. Thereby we at the same time remind her that she is our mother also, and pray her to care for us as a mother not as though we believed she could of herself help us, but with the design that she should offer to God her all-prevailing prayers for us hence we say, Pray for us, adding, “us sinners.” By these words we remind Mary of our misery, and ourselves of our powerlessness for good, and of our guiltiness in the sight of God, praying her to procure for us the grace of God to do true penance, to acquire virtues, and to gain true peace, and that “now,” inasmuch as at every moment, and throughout our whole life, we have so many dangers to meet, so many virtues to gain “and at the hour of our death,” that we may overcome the temptations of the last decisive hour, and stand complete victors before the throne of the eternal Judge. “Amen,” so may it be, is, as it were, to repeat and make stronger the whole prayer.



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