The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 42.


I. THE ANNUNCIATION

We know that the period when Christ was born was amongst the Jews a period of the most lively expectation. The weeks of Daniel had passed, and there was an eager waiting for the coming of the Messias. Amongst other maidens of her race Mary was looking forward and praying to God:

"Rorate c┼ôli desuper et nubes pluant lustum, 
 Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem." 

"Rain down dew, ye Heavens. Let the clouds pour forth the Just. Let the earth be opened and give birth to the Saviour."

A pious tradition tells us that Mary was beseeching the Lord that it might be granted to her to be one day the handmaiden of the Saviour's Mother, when lo! the Angel of the Incarnation was in her presence, revealing the Divine purposes to the lowly Maid of Nazareth. The Angelic Salutation was heard for the first time on earth. The Immaculate Virgin was declared to be full of grace, and assured that she need not fear—her virginity should be preserved— for the Holy Ghost should overshadow her and the Holy One to be born of her should be the fruit of her womb. She was the Blessed amongst all women. As Mary bowed her head in submission to the Will of her Creator, her soul was flooded with joy unknown on earth until that moment—joy not only because the hour of Redemption had come, and the Lord God should visit His people—but also because of the grace with which at that supreme hour she was endowed. Great graces always bring great joy —what joy must then have been Mary's at the moment when she was raised from her lowliness to be the Queen of Angels and of men, when she was made the Mother of the Lord of all! Our Lady's joy arose, not from the mere fact of her exaltation in itself, but from the fact that her exaltation was the necessary means to bring her so close to God. Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, she rejoiced and exulted at being thus ineffably near to God. Innocence of heart, purity of soul, simplicity of mind must needs bring happiness in their train. The Most Holy Virgin, innocent, pure, simple in God's sight, had the happiness, possessed by no other creature—the happiness of absolute sinlessness—and now, as the message from Heaven was presented by Gabriel, there was added, even on earth, the happiness without measure which came from the wonderful knowledge that to her keeping had been entrusted the Saviour of the world— the Mighty God Himself, made one with her in the Human Nature which was henceforward to be His for evermore. When Gabriel left her presence, surely Mary's soul was filled with joy beyond the joy of any other woman. She was already a mother— already she was the Mother of God.