And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
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Cornelius a Lapide
And Mary said, &c. Mark the humility, modesty, and resignation of the Virgin, for though saluted by the angel as Mother of God, she calls herself His handmaid, not His mother; handmaid by nature, mother by grace. Pet. Dam. (Serm3de Nativ. Virg.). And S. Bernard (Serm. in Apoc12) says, "A great sign: deservedly she made mistress of all who declared herself servant of all."
Be it unto me (Fiat). This word shows that she consented and yielded her assent to the angel with respect to the conception of the Word; also that she wished, desired, and earnestly prayed for the Incarnation of the Messiah, so that He might redeem and save mankind. For this the Blessed Virgin most ardently desired and prayed for. "Be it Song of Solomon , is a mark of desire, not a sign of doubt." S. Bernard (Serm4sup. Missus Est).
There is a question at what precise moment the Son of God became carnate1. Andrew* of Crete is of opinion that He was incarnate before the angel came to the Blessed Virgin. For his words,...
Behold the handmaid. With all modesty and humility of heart and mind, the blessed Virgin consented to the divine will: and from that moment in her was conceived the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. (Witham)
Thus ought the virgin, who brought forth meekness and humility itself, to show forth an example of the most profound humility. (St. Ambrose)