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vol, 9
no. 60

Have we been true to Mary's words, "Be it done to me according to Thy word."? Time and Prayer will tell!
         Today we celebrate the joyful beginning! We're talking, of course, of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord when, after thousands and thousands of years of expectation, God started the "ball rolling" so to speak, by sending His emissary the Archangel Gabriel to a humble Jewish maiden in her early teens to announce news that would shake the world to its core. It is all documented in the first chapter of Luke and remains forever in our hearts - this first Mystery of the Holy Rosary. This short passage wraps up in a nutshell Our Lady's fiat to God. Think about it. She was betrothed to a Nazarean named Joseph and must have had visions of imagining life with this kind, gentle and strong soul as most young girls would have at that age as their fancy turns toward the future and the security of marriage. All of a sudden, while in prayer, here comes this Heavenly being of majestic light to tell Mary her plans have been changed, as it were. Mary could have said, "wait, a minute, this isn't fair; this isn't what I had in mind." Instead she merely asked "How shall this happen, since I do not know man." When Gabriel had assured her this was of God and not to fear, her reply has become legendary: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word."

         How many young girls would have that kind of faith today? For that matter, how many of the faithful remnant would even have that kind of trust and obedience? Thank God, Mary did. Even though we celebrate the Annunciation every year, these times have taken a new meaning as to the Annunciation for God has been sending His very Own Mother to announce to us to "let it be done according to Thy word". Yet, how many of us truly respond with that full commitment, no holds barred? Truth be told, very, very, very few. It's the human nature of man to be skeptical, to want to see something before taking the leap. God knows that, so does His Loving, Immaculate Mother. That is why They keep announcing over and over and over and over and over ad infinitum to return to the loving embrace of His Sacred Heart and Mary's Immaculate Heart through prayer, sacrifice, penance and obedience to God through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. That shouldn't be so hard a responsibility when one considers the ultimate privilege - the reward ahead: Heavenly bliss forever! But so often we have to ask "why" and we tend to procrastinate. But putting things off often leads to regret because too many times we wait too long, until it may be too late. No one likes that possibility, yet so few are willing to do something about it. They want to see more, they want more proof that the Blessed Mother has been appearing all over the world in these final days of the second millennium. They want absolute proof that it is Mary speaking and then, they want the Church to say, without a doubt, it is true and they back it up. That is all fine and good, but so often when they wait on others they can easily miss the bus, in a manner of speaking. If what Our Lady is imparting wasn't important, would God send her over and over and over to almost every country in the world in some form of private revelation to wake us up and knock us over the head with God's love for all His children? Would He have begun a succession of apparition events from Rue de Bac on over the past two centuries if He weren't serious by sending His Own Holy Mother? We doubt very seriously He would have done it this way if it weren't vital His children hear the message.

         But the message is not new; it is the same message imparted in Divine Revelation through the Word in Scripture, through the traditions and teachings of Holy Mother Church. Why then this concentrated effort to flood the world with His Mother? One reason has to be that His children are not staying true to the normal means of faith - His Commandments. Another is that they are not remaining faithful to the Church the Son of God established nearly 2000 years ago. Therefore, the Heavenly need to intensify the "annunciation" of God's Will comes into serious focus. Wouldn't you think God would get tired of telling His people over and over and over ad infinitum to be faithful, to heed His Laws and Will? Of course, but remember, His Love is so consuming, He loves us so much, that He will go to every measure to return fully to His embrace. So will His Mother, who many credit for being even more lenient than the Almighty Judge. There's the standard joke that Saint Peter complained to the Lord about all the misfits in Heaven, and Jesus replied, "I know, but what can I do, My Mother keeps letting them in the back door!" It's cute but it brings home a point. Like any mother, Mary is the feminine side, the side all can go to and thrust themselves into her arms, asking forgiveness with little fear of reprisal other than a loving, reconciling reminder not to stray again. Again, it's part of human nature to confide in mom more than dad, it's part of our makeup to lean on mom because traditionally she is the "heart of the family" as Mary was within the framework of the Holy Family of Nazareth. No wonder God has sent Mary then. He could have sent Gabriel again, or someone else, but He chose to send the one Heavenly person we could easily relate to and hear. But after all these years of cold-hearts, the Almighty is getting impatient. Mary has confirmed this at Garabandal when she said she can no longer hold back the hand of the Father, that "before the cup was filling up, now it is overflowing." At that same site Mary is purported to have announced the Warning and the subsequent Miracle. The annunciation of this and the annunciation of what our souls will see when this happens - to see ourselves exactly as God sees us with no camouflage, no pretense - makes the impending Warning a definitive and unique "annunciation." LIkewise the Miracle that is to follow, some speculate the great rainbow in the sky as Saint John Bosco saw in his vision, whatever it will be, it will be a stunning, spectacular "annunciation."

         You might say, this entire century has been one constant "annunciation" of God's Will, yet, as we near the momentous third millennium so many remain unmoved. What will it take? Could it be an "annunciation" of a purification period? Could it be this purification - also known as the chastisement or tribulation - will make a bigger impact on those who have refused to hear the "annunciation" until now? We would certainly think so and hope so, for the sake of their souls. Jesus and Mary have already promised a Second Annunciation - the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in a wondrous event - era - that will announce the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart - the New Pentecost - the Era of Peace - the New Advent. In essence it will be a time when Jesus will truly return to be with us on earth, not as man walking the earth, but in a Eucharistic way that all will know, cherish and respond in kind. Oh, and there will be one more "annunciation" - one of the most anticipated by loyal children of God who are the prime targets of His chief adversary. That "annunciation" will be the announcement that satan has been bound and chained and thrust back into hell where he belongs. Before all that happens and it will happen quickly, can we stand before God, before the mirror of our souls and look ourselves squarely in the eye, confidently and humbly saying that, through our prayers and obedience to His Will, we have been true to Mary's words, "Be it done to me according to Thy word."? Time and Prayer will tell.

Michael Cain, editor

March 25, 1998       volume 9, no. 60
Today's Catholic Pewpoint Editorial

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