It may seem silly to think about, but in 9 months and 2 days, we'll be celebrating Christmas! That means, in only 3 days, Catholics (and all Christians) will celebrate one of the most solemn feasts of the year, and yet hardly anyone ever really pays attention to it.
Another depiction of the the Annunciation, when Mary said 'Yes' to God's Will so that salvation could be offered.
However, I personally pay very close attention to March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, because it's the Feast Day of the Secular Institute I am in community with! My community is called “Voluntas Dei,” which means “The Will of God.” These are the words that Mary said to the Archangel Gabriel: “Let it be done according to Thy word!” In other words, “Voluntas Dei!”
Join Fr. Leo as he visits the Basilica Shrine of the Annunciation in Nazareth, on this special Holy Land Pilgrimage. Click the image for more info.
On that day during the Mass celebration, we genuflect at the point in the Creed when we say, “And by the Holy Spirit. He was Incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” Catholics do the same thing at Christmas liturgies too! Why? Because the conception of Jesus shows that God was present even at the time Jesus was an unnoticeable “cluster of cells” within Mary's womb.
The word incarnation comes from the term “carne”, which means “meat” or “flesh.” Thus, incarnation literally means “to become meat.” Faithful observers of the Incarnation of Christ believe it must be taken as seriously as Christmas. Without Mary's “Yes”, we wouldn't have Christmas! The March 25th Feast Day of the Annunciation shows how God loved the world so much, He sent His only begotten Son to be like us in all things but sin! We believe that every human being, because of the Incarnation, possesses the image and likeness of God. Because God became man, we now have a way to get to know God like we would get to know one another – in the flesh! Finally, the Incarnation shows how God wanted to feed us with the “Blessed Fruit of Mary's womb” (a theological connection to our Plating Grace movement), along with a Pro-Life message, and the responsibilities that come with receiving the Eucharist.
So, while the faithful feel like they're smack dab in the middle of the “Desert Lenten Experience”, we can't forget we have great reason to celebrate on March 25th. It means the joys of our faith are always in mind and heart, and we only have 9 months and 2 days to wait! Happy Feast Day!
Let Us Pray:
Opening Prayer for the Mass of the Annunciation
“O God, who willed that Your Word should take on reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in His divine nature. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen.