Here's a throw-back from my old blog (that's allowed, right?).
Happy Feast Day to my sister and her family!!! <3
Happy Feast of the Annunciation!
I couldn't let this great opportunity pass to offer a little reflection on this day, since I love the liturgical year so much. What often comes to mind today is: NINE MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! ...but it seems to me that we often lose sight of what this feast is about: the beginning and end of Jesus' life.
In ancient times, a life was considered 'perfect' if it began and ended on the same calendar day. Since Easter was celebrated in connection with Passover from the earliest times in late March/early April, the ancients believed that the incarnation must have also happened around this time. We moderns may think of it as merely a convention to mark the nine-months before the 'real' holiday of Christmas, but the Annunciation was a Christian feast before Christmas even came to the scene. It's a feast which celebrates the 'wholeness,' the 'perfection' and the 'fullness' of Jesus' life on earth.
Mary's "yes" is the beginning of the Christian drama and we celebrate her openness to God's will, but we should also meditate on what this feast means during our Lenten time of preparation. We cannot celebrate the life of Jesus without also commemorating His sacrificial death. We cannot imitate the fiat of Mary without knowing that it is deeply connected to her presence at the foot of the cross.
Conversely, the sorrows of His death and cross are made joyful by the fact that Christ really took on human flesh through Mary and rose again through that same flesh. So, too, are our sorrows now turned to joys through that fiat of Mary which enabled our Savior to become human as we are human, so that we might share in His eternal life as adopted sons and daughters of God.
May we find in Mary's fiat the prayer of Jesus in the garden and may our times of joy and sorrow all be opportunities to encounter the Incarnate God.
Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
Gate of Heaven, Star of the sea,
Assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
Have pity on us poor sinners.