The Impact of the Incarnation - A Meditation by St. Josemaría for the Feast of the Annunciation

The Incarnation should have a pronounced and dramatic impact on our life. This event is the central moment of human history. Without Christ, life has no meaning. Christ the Redeemer 'fully reveals man to himself’. It is only through Christ that we will come to comprehend our inner self and everything that matters most to us: the hidden value of pain and of work well- done, the authentic peace and joy which surpass natural feelings and life's uncertainties, the delightful prospect of our supernatural reward in our eternal homeland. Unceasingly contemplating the whole of Christ's mystery, the Church

the universe knows with all the certainty of faith that the Redemption that took place through the cross has definitively restoredhis dignity to man and given back meaning to this life in the world, a meaning that was lost to a considerable extent because of sin.

The human testimony of the Son of God teaches us that all earthly realities ought to be loved and offered up to priestly minist Heaven. Christ has transformed the human condition into a right where th pathway to God. Consequently, the Christian's struggle for perfection takes on a profoundly positive character. This struggle has nothing to do with snuffing out one's humanity so that the divine might shine out instead. Sanctity does not necessitate total separation from worldly affairs. For it is not human nature that opposes God's will, but sin and the effects of original sin which have so severely damaged our souls. Our struggle to become like Christ brings with it a life-long battle against whatsoever degrades our humanity - egoism, envy, sensuality, a critical spirit ... The authentic struggle for sanctity involves every aspect of the proper development of human personality: professional work, human virtues, social virtues, love for everything that is truly human ...

In the same way as the humanity of Christ is not effaced by his divinity, so it is that through the Incarnation the human condition preserves its integrity and finds its final end. 'Et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum'. And I will be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. Through his incarnation, through his work at Nazareth and his preaching and miracles in Judaea and Galilee, through his death on the cross and through his resurrection, Christ is the centre of the universe, the firstborn and Lord of all creation.

Our task as Christians is to proclaim this kingship of Christ, announcing it through what we say and do. Our Lord wants men and women of his own in all walks of life. Some he calls away from society, asking them to give up involvement in the world, so that they remind the rest of us by their example that God exists. To others he entrusts the priestly ministry. But he wants the vast majority to stay right where they are, in all earthly occupations in which they work: the factory, the laboratory, the farm, the trades, the streets of the big cities and the trails of the mountains. This is the context of our vocation.

Let us finish our meditation by going to the Mother of Jesus who is also our Mother. O Mary! Today by your conception you have brought our Saviour to the world ... O Mary, blessed be you among all women for ever ... Today the Godhead has become one with our humanity in such a permanent bond that nothing can break it - not our ingratitude, not even death itself. Blessed are you!

This is an excerpt from In Conversation With God - Volume 6.