Solemn Chapter of the Solemnity of the Annunciation

 

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The sisters gather after Mass in our Chapter Hall for Solemn Chapter.

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Sr. Maria Teresa chants the Prologue of St. John's Gospel.

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Sr. Mary Jacinta was the sister chosen this year to give the sermon.DSC_1673

After the sermon the chantresses sing the responsory Verbum Caro from Matins of the Annunciation.DSC_1674

Solemn Chapter concludes with the Prioress praying the prayer for the Annunciation.

Below is Sr. Mary Jacinta's sermon.

Mary said: Behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

Since the fall of Adam, the whole of Creation has been eagerly awaiting the Redemption of mankind that God has promised us in the book of Genesis. The feast of the Annunciation of our Lord shows us the intimacy between Jesus and Mary. At the moment of Mary’s Fiat, the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and the Son of God became flesh in her womb. My dear Sisters, we will never be able to understand the exultant joy of the Angel Gabriel and the whole created universe at Mary’s response. Let us for a moment place ourselves in the presence of Our Lady in her humble home at Nazareth during the time of the Angel’s message. Let us fix our gaze upon her so she can teach us her interior dispositions that have prepared her for this important vocation and mission that has brought us our salvation.

According to Church tradition, Our Blessed Mother was presented in the temple at a very young age and she was totally devoted and dedicated to the service of God. She devoted herself to prayer, and the devout meditation and study of Sacred Scriptures. Our Lady’s soul was constantly in a state of prayer and silent recollection, even in the midst of work, suffering and trial. Mary’s “yes” was a total donation of herself. She gave herself to God, allowing Him to do whatever He wills. That total offering of herself was consummated at the foot of the Cross. She submitted herself totally to the Will of God, which was the most important thing in her life. Her faith was so unwavering that it helped others to trust in God to the fullest. I often thought about Sts. Mary Magdalene and John the Beloved, who made it all the way to the Cross while all the other apostles and disciples fled due to fear. These two received their courage and strength by remaining at Our Lady’s side.

Our Lady did not understand everything, but she fully cooperated with the plan of God in her daily life and always followed the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Since God did not make everything crystal clear to her all at once, she continued to trust even in the obscurity of it all. She believed that God would bring to completion what He had begun. Therefore, my dear Sisters, as we strive to be faithful in our own vocation, let us ask our Lady to help, guide, and strengthen us in our faith, especially during the times of trials and difficulties. Let us always remember that each of us has been chosen for a special purpose in God‘s great plan and design for the work of the salvation of souls, and that our faithfulness and final perseverance have its great rewards.  Faithfulness is a personal choice. Therefore, it is up to each individual to bring it about in one’s daily life. Let us together with Our Lady repeat her "Fiat" in every circumstance of our life: Fiat, Ecce Ancilla Domini.