March 25 is, of course, the liturgical celebration of the Annunciation of the Lord, that very significant event in the history of all mankind when the Son of God became man in the virginal womb of Mary who with her ‘Fiat’ (Be it done) reversed the disobedience of our first parents to allow God’s work of human redemption.
It’s a solemnity that celebrates God’s great and tremendous love for man in spite of all our sins. And that’s simply because in spite of all the mess we make, we continue to be children of God, his image and likeness, meant to share in his very own divine life forever.
It’s important that we meditate on this very fundamental truth of our Christian faith so that we can also be inspired by the same love that God has for us. We are meant for love, but the real love that comes from God and not just our own invention. That love has to be repaid also by our love. That’s when we actually attain our human perfection.
Let’s remember that God can never forget us, a truth that was already articulated well in the Book of Isaiah: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she would have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (49,15)
We have to pound this truth of our faith constantly into our head and heart, so we can feel at home with it. Our problem is that we often take God’s love for granted and thus trivialize the dignity that we have, and suffer the consequences that actually can and should be avoided. We can either abuse this love or doubt it.
We may feel awkward about this truth, since we seldom, if ever, expect much less experience a love such as this. We often consider such love as madness, or impossible to take place, etc. But this is the love God is offering us and is asking us also to have.
This tremendous love of God to us through Christ was once described vividly by St. Paul. Let’s listen to him slowly:
“While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom 5,6-8)
The secret to correspond to this love of God for us is to imitate Mary’s response of ‘Fiat’ to God’s will for her. Her obedience to the divine designs for man somehow started the healing of the disobedience of our first parents that plunged all of us into a life and a world of sin.
That “Fiat” is the best example of obedience that man as a creature can have in relation to the will of God, our Creator and Father. It perfectly echoes in a mysteriously anticipative way also Christ’s obedience to the will of his Father—“If it is your will, let this cup pass by me, but not my will but yours be done.”
Mary’s “Fiat” is the perfect model of how our will ought to be conformed to God’s will. We have to be reminded that by the very nature of our will, the very seat of our freedom, our will is supposed to be in synch with the will of its Creator. That’s when we enter into the dynamics of God’s love.*