Grace: For an interior knowledge of the Lord, Who sees what I don’t see and took on flesh so that I may love and follow Him more.
Point 1: God knew creating material beings with freewill could get a bit messy to say the least, but He also knew that the potential for these beings to love would in actuality resemble His love like no other. From the beginning, He loved humans and all creation into being, and out of love, He continues to sustain them.
Imagine the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, looking at the world racked with poverty, wars, human trafficking, genocide…envy, lust, pride, rage…lies, betrayal, neglect, apathy…“My people, My people, for why have you abandoned Me?”
Take a moment to gaze at the Divine Persons gazing at humanity, gazing at you.
See God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit zooming in on every human heart (try doing that on Google Earth!). They know every heart by Heart and count every beat of every heart. How do They react to what They see?
“Let Us work the redemption of the human race.”
Then They send the angel Gabriel to Nazareth.
“God became man so that man might become a god.” -St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione
Point 2: Read through Lk 1:26-38 once or twice.
Without the text, close your eyes and play the scene in your mind. Place yourself in the scene. Stand by the door or peek into the window. Listen and watch. Feel! Pay attention to Mary’s reaction. Pay attention to your reaction.
Point 3: Creation and re-creation of humanity is a risky business, but fortunately it comes with an affordable, full coverage insurance policy. Despite people’s failure to live and love as He intended, God has not taken His eyes off of them since He created them. His loving gaze misses nothing and ceaselessly calls humanity to gaze back at Him. A lowly maiden of humble heart in the middle of nowhere did not escape his notice, and she did not leave that unnoticed. Her “yes” flipped the world upside down.
Once, I told a friend who was preparing for Baptism, “When you pray, remember the words of St. John Vianney: ‘”I look at Him and He looks at me.’” Then my friend immediately replied, “He looks at me even when I’m not looking at Him.” I was speechless!
What does God see in humanity, see in each of us, that makes Him want to be one of us? What does it mean to see yourself and others as God sees you and them?
Spend time with Mary after the angel Gabriel leaves her. Ask her whatever comes to mind, or just sit with her in awe (anxiety? shock?), gazing at this tremendous mystery that she just received into her being on behalf of humanity.
During this Lent, ponder as to why some would call the Annunciation “the beginning of the Passion.”