Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
(Isaiah 7:10-14.8:10; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38)
In a bitter attack on faith the so-called new atheist Sam Harris equates Christianity with “the claim that we must love and be loved by a God who approves of the scapegoating, torture, and murder of one man – his son…” Although Mr. Harris’ broadside may find basis in the writings of some theologians, it misconstrues genuine Christian redemption summarized in the reading from the Letter to the Hebrews today.
God no more delights in human bloodshed than parents in bickering among their children. What God does enjoy is his creation following the path of goodness leading to its edification. Human adherence to that way was a long time in coming but at last found its realization in Jesus whose incarnation is celebrated today. He will be in such perfect accord with God’s will that the world, distorted by Satan’s power, will have him executed. Anticipating the grace flowing from Jesus’ obedience, Mary gives her assent to God’s word in the gospel.
Today’s Feast of the Annunciation wells up awe and wonder within us. The consideration of natural birth begins the excitement. The meditation on God’s becoming human increases the marvel. And the contemplation of this God-man’s being rejected and executed for the sake of human redemption leads to our adoration and self-surrender.