Feast of the Annunciation

Happy Feast of the Annunciation! This morning at mass, our priest gave a wonderful homily on the beauty of this feast day, reminding us that the Annunciation is one of the great feasts in the Church year. He gave all expectant and new mothers a blessing, as well as a St. Gerard medal and a carnation. Fr. Troy also mixed in some humor, beginning his homily by saying, “You know what today is, right? Today, you officially have 9 months left to do your Christmas shopping.” His point, of course, was that we celebrate the Annunciation today because we will celebrate Jesus’ birth 9 months from today.

Below I have posted an excerpt from John Paul II’s homily on the Feast of the Annunciation in 2000, which he gave from the town of Nazareth in Israel. His words, as always, are an inspiration and a great encouragement to me, and as I was reading this document I couldn’t help but wonder, “What might God be asking me to do that has never been done before? What might he be asking of me and my family, and how am I responding?”
4. Like Abraham, Mary is asked to say yes to something that has never happened before. Sarah is the first in the line of barren wives in the Bible who conceive by God’s power, just as Elizabeth will be the last. Gabriel speaks of Elizabeth to reassure Mary: “Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son” (Lk 1:36).

Like Abraham, Mary must walk through darkness, in which she must simply trust the One who called her. Yet even her question, “How can this come about?”, suggests that Mary is ready to say yes, despite her fears and uncertainties. Mary asks not whether the promise is possible, but only how it will be fulfilled. It comes as no surprise, therefore, when finally she utters her fiat: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me” (Lk 1:38). With these words, Mary shows herself the true daughter of Abraham, and she becomes the Mother of Christ and Mother of all believers.


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