Sunday, October 14, 2007


And Mary said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECIES: This chapter relates how those prophecies were fulfilled which foretold, firstly, that the Redeemer would be born of a virgin; and secondly, that He would be a descendant of David.

Mary co-operated in our salvation by giving her consent to become the Mother of the Savior. The angel of the Lord was sent to Mary in order to procure this consent. The time had arrived, and the Son of God was ready to descend from heaven and become Man. It only remained for her, whom God the Father had chosen to be the Mother of His son, to give her consent to be so. The angel of God therefore explained this great mystery, and waited for her answer, on which depended the salvation of the world. While meditating on that decisive moment, St. Bernard uttered this prayer to Mary:
"Now, O Virgin, thou hast heard what is to be, and how it is to be. Both mysteries are exceeding joyous and wonderful. But the angel awaits thine answer, for it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too, O Mary, our Queen, we who are weighed down by the divine sentence, we wait for thy speech, thy words of mercy. For behold the price of our redemption is offered to thee; and as soon as thou dost accept it, we shall be saved. We were all created by the eternal word of God, and yet, behold, we die! But if thou wilt speak one little word, we shall live! Speak then, Oh, speak that decisive word. Adam and his unhappy children, banished from Paradise, beseech this of thee! David and all our holy fathers--thy fathers too--beseech thee! The whole world, prostrate before thee, looks to thee and beseeches! On thy words depend the comfort of the afflicted, the deliverance of the condemned, the salvation of the children of Adam! Hesitate not, O Virgin! Speak, O Mary, that sweet word of consent, which we who are on the earth, and under the earth, now wait for!"
Mary, as you know, did utter that decisive word of compliance: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word!" By these glorious and precious words she pronounced the longed-for consent. Our Redemption began from the moment in which Mary acknowledged herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, and became the Mother of God! It is therefore reasonable, just, and right that all Christians should honor Mary as the "cause of our joy," in the words of her Litany, and should venerate her as the "Mother most pure," through whom our Redeemer was given to us. The Feast of her Annunciation is kept on March 25th.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)