Solemnity of the Annunciation (April 8 transferred)
April 08, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



O God, who willed that your Word
should take on the reality of human flesh
in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray,
that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (7:10-14; 8:10)

The LORD spoke to Ahaz saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
   let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
   “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah  said:
   Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
   the virgin shall be with child,
   and bear a son,
   and shall name him Emmanuel,
   which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11)

â„Ÿ. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
   but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
   then said I, “Behold I come.”

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O God, is my delight,
   and your law is within my heart.”

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
   I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.

Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
   your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
   in the vast assembly.

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (10:4-10)

Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
   take away sins.
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:
   “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
         but a body you prepared for me;
      in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in.
      Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
      behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”

First Christ says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
   holocausts and sin offerings,
   you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
   through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Acclamation

✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (1:26-38)

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
   to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
   to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
   of the house of David,
   and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
   “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
   and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
   “Do not be afraid, Mary,
   for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
   and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
   and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
   and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
   and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
   “How can this be,
   since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
   “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
   and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
   will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
   has also conceived a son in her old age,
   and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
   for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Catena Nova

THE mysteries of God are unsearchable, as is especially declared in the prophetical words : What man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is?   Nevertheless, some things have been revealed to us. And hence we may gather, from the words and works of our Lord and Saviour, that there was a special purpose of God in the fact that she who was chosen to bring forth the Lord was espoused to a man. Why did not the power of the Highest overshadow her before she was so espoused? .... There was neither companion nor witness there, that what passed might not be debased in gossip ; and the Angel saluted her. THE message of God to the Virgin was a mystery so great that it must needs not be uttered by the mouth of man, but only by an Angel. For the first time on earth the words are spoken : The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. The holy maiden heareth, and believeth.   At length she saith : Behold the handmaiden of the Lord ; be it unto me according to thy word. Here is an example of lowliness, here is a pattern of true devotion. At the very moment she is chosen to be the Mother of the Lord she declareth herself to be his handmaid. The knowledge that she was chosen to this high vocation was wrought in Mary only an act of humility. (St. Ambrose of Milan)
The degeneration caused by sin had obscured the beauty of our original nobility. But when the mother of supreme Beauty is born, our nature finds its purity once more and sees itself moulded according to the perfect model, worthy of God (Gn 1,26)… We had all preferred the world below to that above. There no longer remained any hope of salvation. The state of our nature cried aloud to Heaven to come to the rescue… Then at last, in His good pleasure, the world’s Divine Artificer determined to make a new world appear, a different world full of harmony and youth. Now was it not fitting, that a most pure virgin without stain, should place herself at the service of this mysterious plan first of all?… And where was this virgin to be found, if not in this woman, alone of her kind, chosen by the world’s Creator before all generations? Yes, she indeed is Mother of God, divinely named Mary, whose womb gave birth to God Incarnate and whom, He Himself had supernaturally prepared, as His Temple. (St. Andrew of Crete)
Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word. Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)
He came from Him,
from whom He did not depart,
going forth from Him,
with whom He stayed,
so that without intermission,
He was wholly in eternity,
wholly in time,
wholly was He found in the Father
when wholly in the Virgin,
wholly in His own majesty
and in His Father’s,
at the time
when He was wholly in our humanity. (St. Amadeus of Lausanne)
The Father bending down to this beautiful creature,
who was so unaware of her own beauty,
willed that she be the Mother, in time,
of Him, Whose Father He is, in eternity.
Then the Spirit of love,
Who presides over all of God’s works,
came upon her; the Virgin said her fiat:
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done to me according to thy word”
and the greatest of mysteries, was accomplished! (St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.
Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.
These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession
Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand. (Thomas Merton)

Even today, God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming His invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard. God continues to walk our neighbourhoods and our streets, He pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to His invitation and making it become flesh here and now. In the end, the Lord continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions. Just like He did with Mary, God also takes the initiative in our lives, inserting Himself into our daily struggles, anxieties and desires.
It is precisely in the daily routine of our lives, that we receive the most beautiful announcement we can hear – “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!” (Pope Francis)


Intercessions (Liturgy Archive)

On this day the eternal Father sent his angel to bring Mary the good news of our salvation. Let us turn to God and pray with confidence: Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

You chose the Virgin Mary as the mother of your Son,
- have mercy on all who look for your gift of salvation.

You sent Gabriel to give Mary your message of peace and joy,
- give to the whole world the joy of salvation and your gift of true peace.

Mary gave her consent, the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, and your Word came to dwell among us,
- touch our hearts that we may welcome Christ as Mary did.

You look with love on the humble, and fill the hungry with your gifts,
- raise up the downcast, help all in need, comfort and strengthen the dying.

Lord our God, you alone work wonders and with you all things are possible,
- give us the fullness of salvation when you raise up the dead on the last day.

God most high,
you extended your gracious mercy
to the whole human race
through your Son, Jesus Christ,
who took flesh of the Virgin Mary.
You gave him to the world as your servant,
whose delight was to do your will.
Keep the Church, which is his body,
faithful to your purpose,
that all the ends of the earth
may know your saving power.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Chant

Offertory Hymn

The mystery of God from all eternity is
made manifest today: the Word of God in

His mercy becomes the Son of the Virgin,

and Gabriel proclaims the joy of the

Annunciation. Let us with him exclaim to

her: “Rejoice, O Mother of the Lord!”

Communion Chant

 Closing Hymn

All of creation rejoices in thee: O full of
grace: the assembly of angels, and the race

of men, O sanctified temple and spiritual

paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom

God was incarnate and became a child, our

God before the ages. He made thy body

into a throne, and thy womb He made more

spacious than the heavens! All of creation

rejoices in thee: O full of grace. Glory to thee,

glory to thee, glory to thee.