Formed by the Word

TheAnnunciationIt is ironic and odd that the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord follows on the heels of the announcement of Tampa’s stay-at-home order. But wonderfully graced that we have the opportunity to let “Announcement” inform the other.

Today we celebrate the scene in which the Angel Gabriele comes to Mary to announce she will be the mother of Emmanuel, “God with us.”  Words we need to hold close to our heart and memory in the looming shadow of the pandemic.

My friend, Fr. Bill McConville OFM, notes that part of the church’s art tradition is that the scene of the Annunciation often portrays Mary, not empty-handed, but holding a book or a scroll, her reading and reflecting on Scripture being interrupted by the angel’s pronouncement. The tradition is that she is meditating on Isaiah 7 (today’s first reading) in which there is the promise that a virgin will bear a child. Continue reading