Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ…This week, since we have recently celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation, here are a few excerpts from the catechism about Mary:
2628 Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us99 and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is the homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,”100 respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God.101 Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.
496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed.”146 The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign of it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus, St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says, “You are firmly convinced about Our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin…he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate…he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.”147
497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility148: “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”, said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancée.149 The Church sees here the fulfillment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.”150
723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father’s loving goodness. Through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her faith, her virginity becomes uniquely fruitful.105
724 In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she makes the Word visible in the humility of the flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known.106
725 Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God’s merciful love,107 into communion with Christ. And the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, Magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples.