The Annunciation is the announcement from the angel Gabriel to Mary about her conceiving the Son of God within her Womb. It also encapsulates her yes to God’s plan, sometimes called her fiat. But the solemn feast also includes the mystery of the Incarnation, God becoming human. God’s plan to save us from sin has begun.
The angel Gabriel announces to Mary calling her “full of grace” and not actually using her name Mary. Indeed, her being “full of grace” is her identity, but it is also her mission. Her mission was to be the Immaculate One to bear and give birth to Jesus. Mary stood in for all of humanity to accept God’s offer at salvation. Indeed, her being “full of grace” was a requirement for making the decision without any flaw of sin.
God did not need Mary to begin His plan of salvation. But God made Himself dependent upon Mary for the salvation of mankind. Indeed, God makes Himself dependent upon each one of us for our own salvation, but with Mary ALL of mankind was, by God, dependent for our offer of salvation. Her being “full of grace” allowed her to stand in for us. Thank you, Mary, full of grace, for your fiat!
And so the Son of God became Son of Mary. The Holy Spirit overshadowed her. And Mary gave flesh to the eternal Creator of the Universe. God lowered Himself to being one of His Creation. And not just to be a man of great power, but to be a helpless human being with complete dependence upon Mary to nurture Him. Indeed, this dependence started when God waited for Mary’s yes to His plan of salvation.
So much could be said of this solemn feast. The Annunciation from the angel Gabriel, Mary’s fiat, and the Incarnation of God. It is not the Catholic Church that makes Mary essential to salvation. It was God Himself. He could have done it a different way, but He did not.
Mary, you pondered all the mysteries within your heart, help us to ponder these mysteries in our heart, nurtured by you.