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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Reflection 2021-03-25 Solemnity of the Annunciation

Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38
The Annunciation
The Solemnity of the Annunciation reminds us of what the First Reading tells us: God is with us. This is to be taken literally, that God became man in the Person of Jesus Christ. But what does the incarnation of Jesus mean? The Second Reading tells us: it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. The animal sacrifices in the old covenant was meant to be an offering to cleanse the sins of the people. But these cannot permanently take away sins which is why these had to be offered every year. Which is why the Second Reading tells us: he abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. The reason why Jesus became man is to sanctify us. His death makes animal sacrifices irrelevant, because it is by his blood that our sins are forgiven.
How is this possible? The angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end. The death of Jesus is more than sufficient to redeem the sins of the world, because he is the Son of the Most High. The sacrifice of an eternal being is eternally effective.
This is the heart of the Gospel, that God became man, so that his Blood will redeem us from our sins. St Paul says anyone who proclaims a different gospel is condemned. What is the different gospel proclaimed by others?
  1. That we can do anything we want, since God loves us. By believing this, they are saying there is no need for redemption. So if there is no need for redemption, then Jesus did not need to come.
  2. Another gospel prevalent today is that we just need to do good and serve the poor and we will get to heaven. This means we do not need Jesus to die because we can be holy on our own effort. This contradicts what the Second Reading says that we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.
  3. Another common error today is since the offering of Jesus sanctified us once and for all, I can do anything I want because I am already saved. This also contradicts the Second Reading that says I have come to do your will. Doing whatever I want is doing my will and not God’s will.
I John 2:2-3 tells us: By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. When we believe that Jesus came to sanctify us by his death, we have the Spirit of God. But when we believe the errors mentioned above, then John says it is of the Antichrist. In his John 2, John speaks of many antichrists who went out from us but were never of us. We should be careful from whom we listen. Being Catholic is to believe Jesus came to sanctify us. If we stray from what the Church has taught through the centuries, we are saying Christ did not have to die. This is of the antichrist.
Lord Jesus, thank you for becoming man. Thank you for dying for me. Let me cling to you and believe it is by your death that I am saved, that I am sanctified by the offering of your body. Mother Mary, lead me to Jesus. Never let me be misled by the spirit of the antichrist.

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