“Incarnatio redemptiva redemptio inchoativa” (“the redemptive Incarnation is the Redemption begun”). This patristic concept of the miracle of miracles in which the Second person of the Most Holy Trinity deigned to become flesh for us correctly conveys that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is truly the “Redemption begun.” And yet, it was the Father’s perfect plan that such redemptive Incarnation take place only through the consent of a human, a woman, a virgin.
“Yes” to the Annunciation: Lk. 1: 26-38
“Let it be done to me according to your word”
Perhaps St. Bernard describes it best when he states that the whole world waited to hear the response of the Virgin, upon whom salvation was dependent: “The angel awaits an answer; . . . We too are waiting O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us . . . We shall be set free at once if you consent . . . This is what the whole earth waits for . . . .” St. Luke records the commencement of Redemption:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great and will be called
the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him
the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I know not man?”
And the angel said to her,
“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,