Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
On this wonderful feast today of the whole Church, we acknowledge how God’s wisdom continually surprises and delights us. It was God’s wisdom to choose to create for himself human creatures with a free will, such as the very angels of God have. Mortal creatures, unlike the angels who are pure spirits like God, yet unlike all other material creatures in that we are spiritually free to consent or refuse God’s love for us. As St. Bernard expressed it, God desires not the fear of slaves but the love of brides. I call you friends, Jesus said to his disciples. Such is the marvel of God’s holy wisdom.
We know how God’s gift to humankind turned out, rejected by our first parents right from the start. They chose instead to act for themselves, rather than to cooperate with their Creator. And so it has remained ever since.
Occasional individuals emerged time and again in subsequent human history who did consent to what God asked of them. Adam’s son Abel was the first, the patriarch Noah, the special friend of God, Abraham, and one of his progeny, Joseph–and so on through human history. But these each still carried within them the burden of the curse of Adam. The gates of heaven remained closed to them all.
In the fullness of time God’s wisdom revealed itself to us in the most unsurpassable gift of offering himself for our redemption. God chose to win us back to himself by revealing to us just how totally God is self-giving, by himself being made one of his own mortal creatures, in order for him to restore to us what we had once lost.
In order to accomplish this singular act, in his wisdom God made his intention for us to depend upon the consent of a single one of his human creatures, the child Mary. It would all depend upon her alone, whether his lost children could be restored to that state he first intended for them. Because of Mary’s consent, she made possible God’s achievement of his plan. Such was the wisdom of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us.
In order that Mary should be truly free to consent to God’s purpose for his lost children, and thus be able to reverse the fatal choice of our first parents, God in his wisdom saw that Mary needed to be equally free in her will to choose what God wanted, as Adam and Eve had been free before the fall. And so in total mystery, being known only to God himself, Mary in the first instant of life within her mother’s womb was made as Adam and Eve were at their creation by God: full of grace.
In light of her future son’s sacrifice for our redemption, Mary lived in this world uniquely free in her will to choose or to refuse. She was, unknown to all, the new Eve in order for God to reverse the refusal of the first Eve. For Mary would bring into our world the new Adam through her free consent made to God, the one who should share in the saving act to free the human race from sin. Such was God’s wisdom, God’s gracious love, God’s divine mercy.
With the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Lord, we praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you. We give you thanks for your great glory. And we rejoice in your gift of Mary to us as our own mother, our very life and our hope. Through her mother’s love, may we now, her children in Christ, become for you as she is.: free to love you totally with her. He has indeed done great things for us; holy is his name.