Deacon Steven M. Johnson – St. James, Belvidere, IL
Homily for 5th Week of Lent, Thursday, 3-25-21, Year B
Solemnity of The Annunciation of the Lord
READINGS: 1st Is 7:10-14;8-10, 2nd Heb 10:4-10, Gospel Lk 1:26-38
Theme: Gift of Salvation
There are events in world history that change the course of humanity. Events like the discovery of fire and metals, the first car, landing on the moon and computers. These things permanently altered the trajectory of our lives and we are changed because of them. As time moves along, so do we in our awareness of the world and what it has to offer. But these things were not pre-ordained or written about centuries before they came to be. These discoveries, which affect our lives, do not change our final outcome here on earth. They only make our existence here different than it was before they came to be. None of these things prevent our eternal death or save our souls.
Similarly, like these altering events in human history, God coming among us also permanently altered our lives, but not only that, this event has saved us from eternal death, something the others could not do.
God spoke to Ahaz about a gift He would give us. A gift that a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” But I seriously doubt that Ahaz really understood the vast meaning and saving nature of the gift expressed to him by God.
716 years later that gift was given to us through God’s servant, Mary in the birth of Jesus. All of human history before the event of Jesus’s birth led to that moment in time. For through the love of God we were given the forgiveness of our sins and a hope in eternal life through His Son.
In all the fantastical events that humanity experiences, God coming among us as our savior is the capstone of them all; past, present and future. It is the definition of our very meaning and existence. We would do well to reflect on the words of John’s Gospel passage in 3:16-17:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”