Today we went to the Basilica of the Annunciation to meditate on a few things.
We considered three points:
1. Our Lady welcomed the Archangel Gabriel here with perfect humility.
2. God became man in our Lady’s womb right here.
3. He lived most of His human life here–His hidden life, the life He has shared with every human being.
To be at the place where Our Lady said Yes to the Archangel Gabriel moves us to admire her pure and humble obedience. Every day we try to imitate her submission to God’s will. We try to say, “be it done unto me according to Your word, O Lord”–whatever that word might be. It might be hard; it might be easy. It might be pleasant; it might be painful. What really matters is to accept the will of God with simple obedience, like our Lady did right here.
To be at the place where God became one of us recalls the teaching of the Second Vatican Council which Pope John Paul II repeated over and over again:
The truth is that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light…Christ fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.
It is only by that light of Christ that we can make sense of ourselves. Our hearts are tortured and confused, our pathways are often dark. We can only figure life out by gazing upon Christ. He, and He alone, is the key to the mystery of life.
We are not wastrels in a cosmic kabuki theatre routine. We are not dazed and confused with no idea where life is headed. We are not trapped in the pit of selfishness that modern life can open up before the human soul.
No: We believe. We hope. We love. We are Catholics, Christians, children of God, brothers and sisters on the road to heaven. We know who we are and what we are about. We know it because of the light that began to shine here–the light of Jesus Christ.
To be at the place where the Lord lived–His quiet family life with His Mother and St. Joseph–to be here fills us with gratitude for the beauty of the family.
Here is what Pope Benedict said when he was here in May:
All of us need, as Pope Paul VI said here, to return to Nazareth, to contemplate ever anew the silence and love of the Holy Family, the model of all Christian family life. Here, in the example of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, we come to appreciate even more fully the sacredness of the family, which in God’s plan is based on the lifelong fidelity of a man and a woman consecrated by the marriage covenant and accepting of God’s gift of new life. How much the men and women of our time need to reappropriate this fundamental truth, which stands at the foundation of society, and how important is the witness of married couples for the formation of sound consciences and the building of a civilization of love!
…Nazareth means all these things and many more. May the Lord help us to savor them all, with loving, open hearts.
…We also ascended Mount Tabor, to visit the Basilica of the Transfiguration.
The church encloses the rock on which the Lord Jesus was transfigured.
Moses and Elijah appeared.
Sts. Peter, James, and John got a glimpse of the divine glory of their Teacher and Master.
The church was built by Antonio Barluzzi (click the link for pictures and information).