The reader and commenter known only as ngb informed me of today’s special conjunction:
In case you all haven’t realized it, this year is a special one with regards to Holy Week. Good Friday falls on the Feast of the Annunciation—March 25—which nicely ties Jesus’ conception and birth together with his death.Good Friday last fell on March 25 in 2005, and it won’t fall on the 25th again until 2157, so this will be the last time these two feasts coincide in our lifetimes.
So today marks both the day that Jesus was conceived of the Virgin Mary–the beginning of the Incarnation of the Son of God–AND the day of His atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. The two events are inextricably linked, of course, and today they come together.
Annunciation is also a great pro-life holiday, since it shows that life begins with conception.
I will throw in another contribution from ngb and St. Augustine:
Also, just because I find it interesting, and because I didn’t find this quote in any of the linked articles…St. Augustine, On the Trinity, Book iv, chapter v:
For He is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also He suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which He was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which He was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before nor since. But He was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.UPDATE: The Mockingbird blog reminds me that John Donne wrote a poem “Upon the Annunciation and the Passion Falling on One Day” (which it did in 1608). Read it.