Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 25, The Annunciation: Motivation for Life

Volumes and volumes have been written on the topic of The Annunciation of Mary by far greater minds than mine yet something (or someone) keeps whispering in my ear to write about it and why it is such a big deal in light of the Pro-Life movement. So here goes (and please keep in mind, I am not a theologian, just a loved nothing):
I think one of the most beautiful and incredible texts of the New Testament is John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." Now anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ understands this is referring the  Incarnation of Christ. It is a truly amazing statement: God Himself came into the world some 2,000 years ago and shared in our humanity, he became one of us.  He ate and drank and slept and laughed and cried and felt pain and sorrow and joy and had friends and family and knew rejection and suffering and even temptation.  Being of two natures, God and man, Christ entered our fallen world to save us from the world, the flesh and the devil and from ourselves I might add. 
Now in Luke 1:30-32 the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary and says, "do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus."  After questioning, "how can this be?", Mary ultimately trusts God and says "yes, may it be done according to your Word." God chose Mary's consent as the door through which the Word, Jesus Christ, entered the world to share in our humanity.  I think Christians could meditate on these two Biblical texts for a lifetime; the humility of God becoming man and the surrender and trust of a teenage Jewish girl allowing God's will to be done.  Amazing!
Now truthfully I believe the Pro-life argument can be made fairly easily on scientific information alone, I have even recently read an Athiest do a very good job of defending the rights of the unborn on that basis alone.  With the advent of ultrasound and advanced embro technology and in utero fetal surgery it is obvious that a real, live human being (with it's own unique DNA) is growing inside the mother. I think the argument can also be made on legal/ethical and historical grounds based on the question of personhood. But as a Catholic Christian, the reason for my belief and passion on the issue of life is mostly based on the Annunciation of Mary and the point at which "The Word became flesh." Jesus Christ entered humanity, "conceived of The Holy Spirit" at the "Yes" of Mary.  God chose homo sapiens/human beings/us, and by chosing us he elevated the worth, dignity, value and beauty of every man, woman and child, ever created and ever to be created from the moment of conception.  That's God's idea, it's His plan, not mine or anybody elses, God is the Author of Life.  God became one of us so we could be one with Him, forever. And that's why I love The Feast of the Annunciation and why I believe every human life is worth the fight.
I love Christmas and I think most of us are attracted to the innocence and simplicity of the King of the Universe chosing to be humbly born in a stable in pursuit of each of us personally.  It's beautiful and incredible.  But for 9 months prior, the person of Jesus was formed and grew and  kicked inside his Mother and she secretly loved Him. The Word became flesh in the womb of a very young girl in Nazareth, Our Blessed Mother.  That simple fact makes every person have inestimitable worth and dignity.
                 Let it be done according to your Word.

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