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Thursday, March 25, 1999

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The Annunciation

Isaiah 7:10-14
Hebrews 10:4-10
Psalm 40
Luke 1:26-38

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the inconceivable conception

"A body You have prepared for Me." —Hebrews 10:5

Jesus is the eternal God. Before His Incarnation, He was Spirit (see Jn 4:24) and therefore invisible. To experience through our senses the full glory of the all-holy God would probably have been more than we could bear (see Ex 33:20). Therefore, we would more likely see only "the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord" (Ez 1:28). This caused Ezekiel to fall on his face (Ez 2:1). Such an experience of God's presence — even several times removed — would probably knock us out or even kill us. For example, at the end of the world, Jesus will annihilate the mighty Antichrist "by manifesting His own presence" (2 Thes 2:8). It is impossible for us to understand and express even remotely how awesome is Jesus, our God.

This makes it all the more shocking that God became man (see Jn 1:14). To see God with a human body is more shocking than seeing your spouse as a termite, cockroach, or some other bug. Even beholding Jesus' glorified, risen body is shocking. It should be impossible for us to ever get used to seeing God as a human being.

Why the Incarnation? The mystery of love! Why the Incarnation? Extreme humility! Respond to the mystery of the Incarnation by living a radically new life of total love for Jesus, the God-Man.

Prayer:  Jesus, You emptied Yourself for love of me (see Phil 2:7). I now decide to let You empty me of sin, pride, and selfishness.

Promise:  "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God." —Lk 1:35

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the God-Man! Praise Jesus, the Word made flesh! (Jn 1:14)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998