Meditation on the Feast of the Annunciation
What a surprising story greets us in the gospel from Luke. After all, we are in the midst of Lent, the most penitential season in our church calendar year. Why in a season intoned with the expectation of Holy Week triumph and tragedy just 15 days from now, are we confronted by a birth announcement that seems out of place?
Perhaps this narrative, also read during Advent, serves as a reminder of God’s wonderful and unpredictable in-breaking into our daily lives.
In response to Mary’s quite understandable question of “How is this all to come to pass?” comes the angel’s answer of faith: “Do not be afraid, …For nothing will be impossible with God.” Mary’s faith-filled response then triggers an incredible chain of events: Incarnation, Baptism, Desert Testing, Ministry, Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Passion, Death, and Resurrection. At each and every stage, God is working out the holy plan of salvation and reconciliation for all of humankind.
Isaiah’s promise of Immanuel (God with us) is as much a reality in Lent as it is in Advent (both are penitential seasons by the way). Now is a time for us to ponder what “God with us” truly means. Especially in trying times, we need to be reminded that nothing is impossible with God.
There is more to the Feast of the Annunciation than an announcement about the impending birth of the Holy One of Israel. It is also serves as a timely reminder of God’s solidarity with us. May we like Mary respond in faith, “Here am I, …let it be with me according to [God’s] word.”
The Readings for Saturday, March 25, 2017