For this solemnity of the Annunciation, we are happy to bring you some selections from Sr. Bernadette Marie's sermon at Solemn Chapter yesterday morning.
It can be said that our Blessed Mother's faith is the result of her complete and total trust in God's never failing love for her and for all humanity; thus her loving surrender to God's will in all circumstances. Consider Mary's faith at the moment of the Annunciation. She knew that because of God's love for man, He would send a redeemer, and when the Archangel Gabriel told her that she had been chosen to give birth to this redeemer, her loving response was a "yes"--not only to the joys of bringing light into a darkened world. Her "yes" was also a "yes" to the suffering which she knew would come, and which she would unite to that of her Son's. Consider her faith when she saw the suffering on St. Joseph's face once he noticed the as yet unexplained pregnancy. Consider her faith when she learned that she was going to have to travel a long and arduous journey to Bethlehem while pregnant with out Lord, and her humble submission to God's will once they got there, because our Lord would be born in a cold and dirty cave. On all these occasions, she never doubted God's love for her, therefore she was always serene, always at peace. She never doubted because she knew she was being guided by the powerful hands of a loving Father in all the events of her life...
Blessed John Paul II, speaking at a General Audience at the Vatican, said this of our Blessed Mother: "Hers was a daring faith...[because] at the Annunciation, she believed in what was humanly impossible...Mary teaches Christians to live their faith as a demanding and engaging journey, which, in every age and situation of life, requires courage and constant perseverance." This daring and courage of which Blessed John Paul II speaks, requires a total surrender in faith on our part. We m ust always remember that we are loved by God, so there is nothing to fear.
Like Mary, our Blessed Mother, may our faith in this love never waver. She knew in her heart what St. Paul wrote years later in his letter to the Romans: "in everything God works for good with those who love Him."