Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of Annunciation to St. Mary, Mother of God. 24th Nov 2013

By the Grace of God, we are entering the Sunday of Annunciation to St. Mary, Mother of God, in accordance with the church calendar on Sunday, 24th Nov 2013. It is needless to mention about the Annunciation day observed compulsorily every year on 25th March. The only reason for observing the same day on two different dates is that it is so important and unique.
The annunciation means the revelation of God’s master plan to redeem the entire mankind and the entire creation to St. Mary, a young holy and God fearing girl, who later became the mother of God. Angel Gabriel’s message to St. Mary has been transformed as a prayer of the Holy Church. In this prayer most of the words are taken from the Holy Bible. But much number of Christians does not recite this prayer due to their own reasons. From the message of Angel Gabriel let us take three words: 1) Mary, full of Grace 2) Highly favored and Peace. 3) The Lord is with thee.
Angel addressed St. Mary by her very name. It is the style of God Almighty to address each and everyone of His creation by the very name. From the time of Adam and Eve, people were waiting for the Savior and in fact the Old Testament is the history of the long expectation of the Savior. Especially the virgins of Israel were keen in waiting, as there was a faith that the Savior would take birth from a virgin. Virgin Mary was the selected one to discharge the duties of God and to implement His master plan. The Angel saluted and told the virgin, that she was full of Grace of God Almighty.
We all are often called by God Almighty to do His will on earth. He is calling us by our very name. But how many of us do hear His words? Even if we hear them, are we willing to obey His words? In the contemporary world, how many of us could identify the voice of our Savior and redeemer, as we all are often engaged in many other attractive worldly matters. The fullness of Grace is often vested with the faithful who live in God and live with God. It is easy to tell so but no so easy to make it practical. St. Mary lived in God and with God from her very young age and she became full of Grace. We have to look forward and chase the ways to become full of Grace. This is the greatness and uniqueness of the prayer ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace.” Let us pray for the Christians who ignore the Holy Scriptural verses, where as they all say that the Holy Bible is the verse of God. In the place of “Highly favored” we use a word equal to peace in Malayalam. Peace is with the Highly favored of God Almighty. Our Lord has cautioned us not to misunderstand peace as something worldly. Still some connect to the wealth and worldly richness. Our Lord told us: “I leave my peace unto you. It is not like the peace of the earth.” All the highly favored would get His peace as long as he or she would be living in Him and with Him. Peace is a blessing for the one who accepts Lord Jesus as his or her Lord and God. There won’t be another human being who has suffered the worldly burdens, tensions, sufferings etc. But when St. Mary had to suffer God’s peace protected her from the evil. If we want the protection from the evil forces and Satan, we will have to seek His highly favored peace.
The Angel’s next wish is: The Lord is with thee. What a blessing? How many of us do really long for the life with God ? We often find the abideness as a hindrance for our free life in the world. Let us seek His life with us and in us. Our Lord has given us a blessing to partake His life giving flesh and blood and to be with Him and in Him. Let us accept the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist, with its own meanings and importance.
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Kottayam.

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