Homily ·Lent
By Archbishop Gomez
March 25, 2020

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

So today we celebrate this beautiful solemnity of the Annunciation, when Mary becomes the mother of Jesus — and she becomes our mother, as well.

And today in this solemnity, we pray for the grace to grow in our love for Mary as our Blessed Mother. It is, as I said, a beautiful solemnity that I’m sure is special for all of us, for many reasons. Just reflecting on what it means for each one of us — for our Catholic faith and for humanity.

We cannot truly follow Jesus, as we reflect on this feast day, unless we understand that we have to have a deep feeling love for his mother. We need to love Mary just as our Lord Jesus Christ loved his mother. So let’s pray for that grace today in this beautiful celebration.

We all know the scene of the Gospel that we just heard and I was thinking that when I reflect on this scene, I always imagine that Mary is in her home as she’s deep in prayer, talking to God from the depths of her heart. And as she’s praying, the angel comes to her with a message from God.

And I think that in this moment of coronavirus pandemic, the words of the angel have a special meaning for us. The angel said to Mary: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

My brothers and sisters, the Annunciation tells us the beautiful truth that we have found favor with God. Each one of us, personally. And the whole human race. All humanity has found favor with God.

And that makes clear to all of us that our God comes to be with us. We heard that prophecy in today’s first reading from the Book of Isaiah: “The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel!”

Of course we know that the name “Emmanuel” means, “God-is-with-us.”

Let us reflect on that today — on the extraordinary love of God and how he wants to share his life with each one of us, again, personally.

No doubt that the time that we are living in are troubling times. But as we have been reflecting these days, God is with us! Always and forever!

And he is with us, even though we are not aware of his presence in our lives.

But, it seems to be, we need to be more sensitive and reflect on how God comes to us in little ways, with little signs, every day. He does not come to us as an angel with a big message! He comes to us in the voices of our families, in the people we meet, especially the poor and the needy. He’s with us and there is no reason for us to be afraid.

And as we are reflecting today, he’s inviting us to go with him, to be with him. He’s calling us to in his plan for our lives, he is calling us to follow him.

And you know who shows us the way to do it? Obviously Mary our Blessed Mother. She shows us the way to do it. We heard her beautiful words today: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word.”

So Mary said “yes” to God’s plan for her life. And my dear brothers and sisters, God wants each one of us to say the same “yes” to his plan for our lives, even during this challenging time.

So when Mary said, “yes,” the Word of God became flesh and she brought Jesus into the world. And that’s also what God wants from me and from you.

Jesus wants to be born again in our hearts. He is calling us to bring him into the world — in all our relationships, into our daily life. So, we need to have that same faith that Mary our Blessed Mother had.

So let’s take the opportunity today, as we celebrate this beautiful feast day, to say “yes” to Jesus again. Let us not be afraid to tell him: “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will. Let it be done to me according to your word.”

Let us ask Mary our Blessed Mother to help us and that she be, in a special way, a mother to us and to help us to follow her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

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