Nazareth! This is the humble place where Mary opened herself to the will of God, completely and without any reservations. This is the place where in her pure body God was magnified in her humility and through her lowliness became one of us, for us men and for our salvation.
Here heaven met earth never to be seperated again. Here the doors of divinity were opened once and for all for us to enter.
And it all depended on the YES of her whom all generations call blessed.
Let us follow the example of our Immaculate Queen and open ourselves in obedience to the will of God.
The devotion towards our Lady of Walsingham is built on this moment. Walsingham was chosen by heaven to capture in stone the Holy House of Nazareth. For us awaiting to join the Ordinariate this day presents us with a golden opportunity to entrust to the Blessed Virgin ourselves and to dedicate to her once more the Ordinariate which our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has named after her.
St Bernard of Clairveaux has these wonderful words to enable our meditiation on this feast day:
You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.
The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.
Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.
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.