The meeting between the Archangel Gabriel and Mary was "such a highly charged moment, bringing together the overwhelming love of God and God's gift of human freedom," said the Most Reverend George J. Lucas in his weekly column. "We must not take either one for granted. God's favor is not due us; God's hand is never forced on our behalf. Nor is Mary's acceptance of God's plan coerced."
Reflecting on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Bishop Lucas said:
"In the Holy Land, it becomes clear that at a certain moment, in a certain place, the Son of God become man and lived among us. At Bethelehem he could be held as an infant. In Nazareth, neighbors could see him play in their streets. In Galilee, people could take him fishing or have him over for dinner. In Jerusalem, so many watched, from a safe distance, as the Son of God offered himself on the altar of the cross."
Recognizing that most of the faithful will never have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, His Excellency noted that "Whenever we pray the Rosary right here where we live, Mary invites us to use a holy imagination and to let guide us to Nazareth, to Galilee, to Calvary and to the emtpy tomb."