Feast of the Annunciation.
|Chapel at Basilica of Annunciation in Holy Land.|
The feast of the Annunciation is on 25th March and it inevitably falls in Lent. This marks the day when Mary, as described in the Gospel of St Luke, was told by an angel that she was to be the mother of the Saviour. This is the day of the Incarnation, when Christ, the Son of God, arrived in his mother's womb.
Interestingly enough, the old English name for this day is "Lady's Day" and for centuries it was marked as the first day of the New Year: due to the fact the tax year ran from March to March each year. Of course, the Annunciation is exactly nine months before Christmas, signifying the time spend by Christ in the womb of Mary. On a practical note, for those of us who had promised ourselves we were going to be organised for Christmas next year, why not connect this feast with a start of a Christmas shopping list.!!!! Shock horror, some might think of Christmas-when we have not yet celebrated Easter.
Nevertheless, reflecting on this feast and connecting it with Christmas, may provide a fresh impetus.
An old tradition says that the first Good Friday was also on 25th March, and so Christ was dying on the anniversary of the day on which he first arrived on earth.
WHAT DOES THIS FEAST MEAN FOR ME?
Apart from wanting to be organised for Christmas and connecting the two feasts of our salvation what does this feast also mean for me?
God does not need his creatures because He is God. Yet, he desired Mary's yes and our yes to make His plan complete. Jesus invites us every moment of every day to say Yes to Him He gives us a choice just as Mary was able to say no too. Jesus never squashes our free will. In this time of Lent particularly, it is an ideal opportunity to become more aware of the opportunities we have to say yes to God.
Will we be willing to say Yes to God like Mary in what He asks of us?