Is there a better greeting than to wish one another for God to be with us? “The Lord be with you (Dominus vobiscum),” is an ancient greeting and blessing traced to the Vulgate (Latin translation) of Scripture from the verses of Ruth 2:4, 2 Chronicles 15:2, and 1 Samuel 17:37.
More powerful is the greeting the angel Gabriel extended to young Mary, “The Lord is with you.” Gabriel didn’t simply wish for God to bless her. The angel said the Lord literally was with her. Gabriel continued by announcing that Mary would bear a son named Jesus. The child would be great, reigning over his kingdom without end.
Scripture tells us that Mary questioned this message because she was a virgin. She didn’t understand how she could conceive any child, much less one that would have a kingdom for all eternity. Gabriel explained, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.”
God took on the nature of man in all ways but sin. He lived and suffered on this planet, as we all do, and for one main purpose. God incarnated in order to save us (1 Timothy 1:15, John 3:16-17). In fact, the name, “Jesus,” means just that—He Saves (Matthew 1:21).
Always divine, God took on the human form in the name of Jesus to teach and demonstrate the essence of God, which is love. Jesus redeemed and liberated humanity from sin. He invited us to follow him to salvation.
We celebrate the annunciation of the incarnation on March 25. This date is used because it is nine months prior the day on which we celebrate Jesus’ birth (December 25).
The Feast of the Annunciation is an important day in the midst of Lent and the COVID-19 epidemic to remember that “God is with us,” (the Hebrew meaning of Emanuel). God is here, through the good and the bad. What better time to wish one another, as I wish you, albeit at an acceptable social distance,
“The Lord be with you.”
*****Learn more about the First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, The Annunciation, in The Rosary Prayer by Prayer.
*****Photos: 1. Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth. 2. Artwork of Mother and Child, Courtyard of the Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth.