ACTS 1:12-14 ; LUKE 1:26-38

As we celebrate the Eucharistic liturgy this evening we offer our grateful thanks to God the Father for the great mercy He shows us by the gift of His beloved Son's sacrificial death on our behalf.  We are made aware of how far this grace surpasses our merit as we reflect on the significance of this service.  By this mass we are offered fresh insight into the love that so graciously offers us a share in His own intimate life through communion with His beloved Son.  Received in all truth in this sacrament that we approach with living faith, the Lord Jesus introduces each of us into the transcendent world of Divine Intimacy.

We join in making this sacramental offering our own grateful expression for the gift of a merciful love by honoring Mary, the Mother of our Savior.  She became the active collaborator specially chosen by God in his far-seeing Providence.  How different are God's ways in leading us back into His favor.  How mysteriously He works in dealing with His creation.  The prominent Anglican priest and gifted physicist in his most recent work persuasively details the recent discoveries of the structure of the ordered world showing plausibly its openness to God's ongoing action.  Saint Paul had already pointed to this hidden and essential activity of God in nature in his Epistle to the Colossians.  He boldly affirms of the Word of God that "He is sustaining all things in unity".

This hidden action of God was nowhere more operative than in His preparing Mary, by a unique favor of His grace, for her role as Mother of His beloved Son.  In her simplicity she remained humble in spirit, and yet bold in her trust and confidence.  Without hesitation she consented to this role that was to bring her such joy through great sorrow.  And so it happens here this evening that in returning our grateful thanks to God for the gift of our Savior, we honor Mary, a the Mother of God, and as the channel of our Salvation.

Abbot John Eudes Bamberger