The Annunciation to the Theotokos (Luke 1:26-38) is an annunciation to the entire human race that the Son and Word of God has become incarnate. What happened physically in Mary happens spiritually in everyone who lives in virginity, that is, in those who are purified of the passions.
Every time we say “Let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) we relinquish control, we surrender to the Mystery, we entrust ourselves to the Unknowing, and we open our womb to God’s presence. “Let it be” are words of creation echoing God’s “Let there be.” St. Gregory Palamas speaking of Mary says, “Having been fashioned by God through grace … she shaped God in human form.”
Meister Eckhart, the Dominican monk of 14th century Germany says,
We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself? And what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I also do not give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time. When the Son of God is begotten in us.
Eckhart’s questions invite us to see humanity, and not Bethlehem, as the true birthplace of God. How amazing is that?! God has chosen humanity to give birth, to give life, to make real, God in this world. That says a lot about what God thinks of us. So often we look at ourselves and say, “I’m only human! What do you expect?” But God looks at us and says, “Humanity, created in my image and likeness! They shall be the ones through whom, by whom, and in whom my Son will be born.”
Eckhart challenges us to answer his question. How will we give birth to the Son of God in our time and in our culture? In our local communities, in our schools and workplaces, in our families, in our churches, in meeting the needs of the poor, in speaking for justice, in our relationships, in our brokenness and pain, in our joys and celebrations?
Or maybe the better question is, Will we? Will we let it be?
God bless you on this holy feast of the Annunciation! May you give birth to Christ in your words, thoughts, and deeds.
A beautiful benediction, thank you. May the mercy of God and the prayers of the Holy Theotokos and all the saints help us to be “Annunciation people” everyday.
“we open our womb to God’s presence” what a beautiful phrase encompassing ALL, men and women, opening our wombs. Meister Eckhart’s words truly transcend the ages – w/o opening our wombs to God’s birth among us, how can we ever hope to do the work he has given us to do.
A beautiful post – thank you!
Yes, it is for ALL. The womb in God’s world is not about gender. As we open the womb we awaken to the holy of holies within us.
Blessings on this Feast of the Annunciation, Mike
It’s interesting to note that Vladimir Lossky, one of the 20th century’s greatest Orthodox theologians, also wrote a book on Meister Eckhart.
The deep Truth of mystical theology transcends the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant boundaries we often establish. It’s good to hear from you Joe. I hope you are well. Peace, Mike