Friday, March 25, 2011

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

(Isaiah 7:10-14.8:10; Hebrews 10:4-11; Luke 1:26-38)

A Catholic pro-life activist had an inspiration. In order to raise funds for the diocesan Respect for Life Office he would organize a banquet. The celebration would take place on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. His reason for having it today, of course, is that Jesus literally becomes human at the moment of his conception which the Church considers as happening when Mary assents to the angel’s pronouncement.

As important as the Annunciation is to pro-life activities, its deeper significance lies in another realm. In becoming human, God relates to humans in a new way never heard of before or since. He puts Himself in touch with us as one who shares every aspect of our life. We see Him, hear Him, touch Him, and smell Him. To be sure, He is still beyond us but we have incredibly intimate sensations of what He is like. It is like the movie a dozen years ago shot completely from the hospital patient’s perspective. Seeing it, one has a much better idea of what it means to be hospitalized.

As Christmas has turned into a beehive of commercial activity, we may take time today to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation. We want to ponder how Christ’s humanity has affected us personally and how it has changed the world. We will likely come to the realization that we resist it having a very great effect. If so, we want to ask God to open us to His singular offer of everlasting life.