The First Christian

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Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. This is the moment when the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her she had been chosen to bear the Son of God. We can also think of this day as the Incarnation. Normally this feast is celebrated on March 25, nine months before Christmas. But this year that date was Monday of Holy Week, so the feast is transferred to today.

The readings today all point toward Mary’s fiat, which we see in Luke 1, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Perhaps our Responsorial Psalm for today, taken from Psalm 40, sums it up best. “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.”

Mary has many titles in Catholic tradition. I think that one of my favorite ones, though not an official “title,” is “the first Christian.” Mary was the first one to truly accept Christ. She experienced a closeness with Christ that no one else ever would or could. Many non-Catholic Christian traditions have tried to diminish the role of Mary. Some see her as just an interchangeable cog in God’s big wheel. But Mary’s role can never be diminished. She had every opportunity to say no to God. Yet she chose to say yes. Yes to bringing Christ to the world. Do we?

Father, we thank you for the example of Mary, always saying yes to Your will. May we imitate her today and always. Amen.

Today’s Readings


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