The Annunciation of the Lord: Homily by Fr Thomas Couper

Short Homily by Father Thomas Couper, Curate
Noon Mass – Wednesday March 25th 2012 – 
See recording of the Live stream

Those of you who know our church building well will know that the Annunciation holds a prominent place at St Michael’s. When we come in and sit down in the pews, we are immediately caught up in the event; between the icon of the angel Gabriel and the icon of Mary; between the Gabriel’s announcement and Mary’s answer.

But is that the right thing to call it? An answer? Did Mary have a choice in the matter, or was it simply thrust upon her by God? Could she have said no? How we answer these questions says a lot about the kind of God we believe in.

If she had no choice, then it seems that Mary was merely a robot. Overpowered or controlled by God when he wanted to get his way in the world. But if she had a choice, and I believe she did, then God does not overpower us when he wants something to happen but, shockingly, is a God who comes to us, and asks.

So, when Mary says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word,” it’s an utterly free response; a response which exhibits astounding trust as it entailed tremendous personal risk. Ultimately, it’s a response which makes the incarnation possible.

(Today is also known as the feast of the Incarnation). That the word became flesh is a remarkable event but, perhaps just as remarkable is the fact that he first asked a young girl from backwater Galilee if she would help him make that possible.

As I mentioned, when we worship at St Michael’s, we are immediately thrust into the drama of the Annunciation. But in fact, as Christian disciples we are always in that space.  God is forever reaching out to us asking our permission to incarnate his presence of divine love and generosity in our hearts and lives. Every moment is an opportunity to consent to the presence and action of God in our lives. To say with Mary: ‘Here I am , a servant of the lord, be unto me according to thy word.’