Day 1: First Joyful Mystery The Annunciation
The Annunciation of
the Angel Gabriel to the
Blessed Virgin Mary
Read slowly and prayerfully
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Meditate on the Annunciation
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, committed the first sin, known as Original Sin. To punish Adam and Eve, God banished them from Eden and closed the gates of heaven to them and to their offspring. God’s mercy exceeds His justice, however, so over the course of many centuries He sent prophets to prepare His people to receive the Redeemer He would send to save the world and its people from sin. At last God blessed a holy couple named Joachim and Anne with a child: the Virgin Mary, who was destined from all eternity to give birth to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary was all beautiful in the eyes of God. Unlike any of us, she was conceived without Original Sin, and never in her life did she sin. She is immaculate — the sinless one: humble, sincere, pure, and innocent.
Mary made a vow of virginity so that she could give her whole self to God — her body, mind, heart, and soul. Total consecration to God enabled her to love silence so that she could listen to God and enabled her to love to talk to God and to do His holy will. Total consecration to Jesus through Mary will help you to do the same.
The Gospels emphasize Mary’s silence, telling us that, instead of running about telling others about the things that happened to her, “Mary pondered all things in her heart” (Luke 2:19). St. Ambrose adds that “this holy Virgin always carried in the depths of her heart the mysteries of God and the Passion of her son and whatever else He did.” Such mindfulness is impossible without the silence that alone protects and preserves it. Silence enables us to listen; listening enables us to hear; and hearing the voice of God invites us to respond to Him — all of which is prayer. Do this now: Consider Mary’s silence and ask her to help you find some time in your busy day to be silent. From your daily silence will come listening to God, and from listening will come prayer.
Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8). Mary is pure in body, mind, soul, spirit, and intention. Like Mary we are called to live lives of great purity, and consecration to Mary can help us to do so. If you have lost your purity, Mary’s prayers and powerful intercession will help you recover it so that you will once again be pleasing to God. Do this now: Ask Mary to help you control your eyes, your thoughts, your imagination, your feelings, your actions, and even your intentions. Like her, seek to do all for the honor and glory of God!
Talk with Mary
As you prepare to consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary,
reflect seriously upon this profound mystery of the Annunciation
of the archangel Gabriel that resulted in the Incarnation. Talk
about it to Mary as a child speaks to his Mother. Thank her for
her yes to God that brought salvation to mankind. Ask her to
help you imitate her silence, her purity, and her generosity, and
to love her. Soon, you will experience the true joy and happiness
that Mary felt and that comes to all who overcome their selfishness
and learn to give themselves totally to God.
This article is adapted from a chapter in Total Consecration through the Mysteries of the Rosary by Fr. Ed Broom, which is now available from Sophia Institute Press.
Art for this post on Mary: Cover used with permission; Featured image used with permission of Pixabay.