By: Bobot Apit
Mar 25, 2011 - Friday Meditation (Believe in God's Promises!)

God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heartfelt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the help, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. "Heavenly Father, help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified "yes" to your will and plan for my life.". AMEN! 
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord 
Isaiah 7: 10-14; 8:10 
Psalm 40: 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11 
Hebrews 10: 4-10 
Luke 1: 26-38 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" 35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible."38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. 
Meditation by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) 
The Annunciation of the Lord :  “Hail, favored one!” (Luke 1:28) 
Virgin, you have heard that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will be by the Holy Spirit and not by a man. The angel is waiting for your reply. It is time for him to return to the One who sent him. We, too, are waiting for this merciful word, my lady, we who are miserably weighed down under a sentence of condemnation. 
The price of our salvation is being offered you. If you consent, we shall immediately be set free. We all have been made in the eternal Word of God, and look, we are dying (2 Corinthians 6:9). In your brief reply we shall be restored and so brought back to life. 
Sorrowful Adam and his unhappy offspring, exiled from Paradise , implore you, kind Virgin, to give this answer. David asks it. Abraham asks it. All the other holy patriarchs, your very own fathers beg it of you, as do those now dwelling in the region of the shadow of death (Isaiah 9:1). For it the whole world is waiting, bowed down at your feet. And rightly so, because on your answer depends the comfort of the afflicted; the redemption of captives; the deliverance of the damned; the salvation of all the sons of Adam, your whole race. 
So answer the angel quickly or rather, through the angel, answer God. Only say the word and receive the Word. Give yours and conceive God’s. Breathe one fleeting word and embrace the everlasting Word… . 
Blessed Virgin, open your heart to faith, your lips to consent, and your womb to your Creator. Behold, the long-desired of all nations is standing at the door and knocking (Revelation 3:20). Oh, what if he should pass by because of your delay and, sorrowing, you should again have to seek him whom your soul loves (Song of Songs 3:1-4)? Get up, run, open! 
“Behold,” she says, “I am the handmaiden of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). 
“Father, we praise you for sending your Son and setting us free! Be with us, as you were with Mary, so that we may be as willing as she was to say yes to your plan for our lives!”

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