“And the angel said to her in reply, “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, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:35-38
Today in the Church calendar we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day when the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary she would bear a child and the child “will be called holy, the Son of God.” This is the day that we celebrate the announcement of the in-breaking of God into our world, of God becoming human.
“Karl Rahner proposes that all reality is structured symbolically—signs of grace are to be found everywhere if one has ‘eyes to see’.” Because of God becoming one of us, this in-breaking of God in our world, is the way we not only see signs of grace, but become them as well. If we have the “eyes to see” the reality of another person, to be fully present and in the moment with each person, then we can experience, like Mary, an in-breaking of God in our world, a sign of Grace to those we encounter.
Hospitality is one of the core elements of the Gospel. To be truly hospitable is to be open to the other in a way that the other person has an effect on your own life and practice. This is much more than the comfortable cup of tea, this is being fully present to those before me. When we take opportunities to see the moments we are in today as moment that God gives us as opportunities to break through in our world again, then we are truly becoming much more hospitable.
- What are ways in which we can be more fully present to those before us?
- How do we increase hospitality in our communties?
- Where do we see today where God is trying to break into our reality, but he is waiting for us to have “eyes to see”? Are we able to say “May it be done unto me according to your Word.”
 Mary Catherine Hilkert, Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental Imagination (New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1996). 34
- The Annunciation… (thehandmaid.wordpress.com)
- Annunciation (2012) (frted.wordpress.com)
- “The Mystery of the Annunciation is the Mystery of Grace” by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (insightscoop.typepad.com)