The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Date: 
Sat, 03/25/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

The gates of heaven were closed by human choice.
Human freedom, the greatest of gifts, the greatest of privileges,
was misused.  God’s command was disobeyed.
The gates of heaven were opened once again because of human freedom.  The girl, Mary, said “yes!”
 
In the fullness of time, at the proper time according to divine calculations,
the angel Gabriel was sent.
His orders:  ask a 14 year old, a teenager, to do God’s bidding.
A girl who lived in Nazareth, no less.  I mean could anything good come out of Nazareth?
She could have said “come back later; I’m busy at the moment”.
Or “that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard”.
Or “I’m sorry but I’ve already made plans for the rest of my life”.  But she didn’t.
The girl, Mary, said “yes! Be it done to me according to your will," she said.
 
Accepting the will of God in your life is more than a one shot deal.
It is a lifestyle. It is a mindset.  It is an attitude of openness and surrender.
It requires a willingness to sacrifice: to give up “my” plan for God’s plan,
to let go of “my” dream for God’s dream;
to set aside “my” wants and desires for the sake of what is divinely determined.
 
It is not a temporary arrangement.
I’m not off the hook tomorrow.  It’s not someone else’s turn tomorrow.
After I’ve served for a three-year term our duty hasn’t been fulfilled. 
We can’t bow out graciously, pass the responsibility on to someone else.
Obedience to God’s will, to God’s ways, is not here today and gone tomorrow:  it’s eternal.
The “yes” we hear Mary proclaim in today’s gospel is the first of many for her.
 
As we reflect on the realities of divine will and human freedom
we need to be careful not to turn Mary, or any human being for that matter, into a puppet.
God didn’t give Mary a script and say “now memorize your lines”.
God didn’t reveal future events to Mary and then tell her how she was to act out her part:
(“Tomorrow, when you go to the wedding feast, tell the head waiter to do what Jesus says.”)
Mary didn’t have a device put in her ear through which God spoke directly to her,
dictating responses to her to insure she got everything right.
 
Mary was not a passive participant.  She wasn’t wooden like a ventriloquist’s dummy: no emotions,
no personal/individual thoughts, no temptations, no dreams.
No human responses equals no humanity.  Mary was and always remained fully human.
Along the same line, neither was she super-human.
She didn’t have powers that protected her from harm and danger and pain.
It was by grace, and grace alone that she was able to fulfill God’s will for her life.
By grace, she was protected from the defilement of sin.
 
Mary never lost her God given gift of human freedom.
She committed her freedom to God’s glory.  She consecrated her freedom to God’s will. 
She offered her freedom in sacrifice and as a sacrifice to the God who gave her life.
She chose, over and over again, to exercise her freedom in obedient service to God’s plan.
 
Did you know that the gesture we use for “no”—shaking our head back & forth—probably has its source in early childhood?  When a child is fed something it doesn’t like, it turns its head to avoid the spoon.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, thank you for the gift of freedom, a gift often taken for granted.  Reveal to us,
and give us the courage and strength, the wisdom and willingness to hear and obey Your Son, Jesus Christ.  He is Lord forever and ever.  Amen!”