“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
Today’s solemn feast commemorates the greatest event in world history. We celebrate the moment when the Virgin Mary received the angels word and said yes to God, and more importantly, we celebrate the Lord’s response to Mary’s yes. Today we celebrate the day when the Word, our Lord, became flesh and dwelt among us.
God is with us. Becoming a man, he came ever closer to us.
Ordinarily, we celebrate today’s feast on March 25, 9 months before the solemnity of Christmas. This year the feast of the Annunciation was moved to the first Monday after the Octave of Easter, because the ordinary date for the Annunciation fell during Holy Week. I find deep meaning and beauty in the flexibility of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It reminds us that many events in our lives are periodic and recurrant, like the seasons of the year, the rising and falling of the sun, harvest time in the fall and new growth in the spring. Yet there are some evnets in life that are virtually timeless.
The Incarnation of the Son of God is one of those timeless events, which penetrates and pervades all time. For the eternal God entered our world at a concrete point in our history to be one of us and live with us. It is timeless, because Jesus our Lord remains with us in the flesh until the end of time. In the Eucharist, he is truly present in his flesh, blood, soul and divinity, true God and true Man. This miracle occurs every time the priest says the words of consecration at Mass.
But the Incarnation of the Son of God is a one time event, a once and for all event ensuring that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always with us and will be forever.
Happy Feast of the Annunciation!