Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. Despite our wayward humanity, God loves us so much that He wants to send us His only Son.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the Word became flesh to make you and me “partakers of the divine nature.”
“For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that we, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become sons and daughters of God.”
Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, wants to make us sharers in his divinity. This is why He offers us His body and blood to eat.
Now the gift of partaking of the Divine Nature is not something we can give ourselves. God alone bestows on us the gift of partaking in the Divine Nature. But we can dispose ourselves to receive the gift. That is what prayer is about. Later in the Mass I will express out loud this doctrine of divinization when I prepare the chalice: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”
Just as Jesus has been transfigured, so too, we are invited by God to undergo our own transfigurations. We are invited to allow ourselves to be changed by God. Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, “Few people understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves wholly into God’s hands and if they were to allow God’s grace to mould them.”
Fr Michael Smith SJ
Homily at St Ignatius’ Church, Richmond