by Fr Joachim Robert
Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10
Way of the Cross Theme:
Way of the Cross
All our readings and our celebration today, on this Feast of the Annunciation, reminds us of freedom. The freedom that each one of us are blessed with. And God himself, dear friends, on this Feast of the Annunciation, chose Mary out of His own freedom. God gave her the invitation through the Angel Gabriel because of what humanity needed at that point of history. And God made a choice, out of his own freedom, God made a choice for you and I so that humanity may be saved.
In the same way, dear friends, the freedom that we have in choosing for God is also blessed for us by God. And same like Mary, Mary like us had the freedom to say ‘Yes‘ and to say ‘No‘. And because she had said ‘Yes‘, it gives us a whole new opportunity because because of her ‘Yes‘, she changed the whole course of history. And you and I, dear friends, have been blessed with this gift that God has given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And the Responsorial Psalm dear friends also tells us:-
Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.
If we do not have the freedom to choose, then you will not have the opportunity to cooperate with this grace that God has given to you. And like Mary, dear friends, all of us have this opportunity to say ‘Yes‘ to God because the invitation that He gives us constantly announcing to us that we are called to a deeper relationship with Him. By the words of scripture, by our conversation, a simple conversation that we have with one another, by reading the scripture, by the experiences of our life, God announces again and again and again of His invitation for us.
Out of His own free will, God continues to sow the seed of His word, sow the seed of His experience for us. But we need to remember, dear friends, we also have the freedom to say ‘Yes‘, to accept the invitation that God gives us and continue to allow the mystery of God’s plan to reveal itself in our lives, in our community, in our families.
On this Feast of the Annunciation when Mary said ‘Yes‘ to the Angel Gabriel, she was graced by God even though she had fear, even though she did not know what was in store for her but confident in God’s promises, confident in her trusting relationship with God, she said ‘Yes‘ to Him.
And you and I, dear friends, are invited to do the same because whenever we say ‘Yes‘ to God, God will amaze us and allow history to take a new course altogether.
And sometimes, dear friends, in this Season of Lent, the invitation of God once again resounds in our minds, in everything that we do. And Lent is a season of invitation once again to remove the hardness of our hearts, and to follow Jesus in the way that He calls of us.
In the First Reading today from the Prophet Isaiah, the King Ahas was asked by the Lord for a sign. He said ‘Ask a sign for yourself‘ but he refused to ask for a sign. And Isaiah said, ‘Listen now, House of Israel (House of David), are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men without trying the patience of God too?‘
And God out of His infinite freedom from choice, says:-
The Lord himself therefore will give you a sign. It is the maiden with child and will soon give birth to a Son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God with us’.
In the same way, the invitation of God is given to Ahas in the First Reading, the invitation is given to you and I, dear friends, to say ‘Yes‘ to Him and to listen in obedience to the will and the plan of God in our lives. But are we willing to respond as the Responsorial Psalm is today and say:-
Here I am, Lord, I come to do Your will.
During this Lent, dear friends, it is an opportunity to say ‘Yes’ to God. It is a time of grace where we show our love for God by the freedom God has given to us. And let us exercise this freedom that God has given to us in love by saying ‘Yes‘ to Him and showing our love to Him.
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