The Annunciation

TheAnnunciationAt first blush it does seem odd that the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord falls in the midst of Lent. It is an event in the life of Christ that we associate with Advent. That scene in which the Angel Gabriele comes to Mary to announce she will be the mother of Emmanuel, “God with us.”

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.

Perhaps. Or Perhaps she was reflecting on Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the Suffering Servant Song in which the prophet describes the one who will be so marred and disfigured that he will not even seem a man, yet this is the one who will atone for the sins of humanity. Or maybe she was reflecting on any number of passages – perhaps the same one Jesus will share with the disciples on the road to Emmaus in which all the prophets and Law point to the Messiah. Hard to say. We do know that she holds “all these things” in her heart and pondered what they all might mean.

Mary is a woman of the Word. A woman who let the Word of God form her life view, let the Word of God into her life, and gave birth to the Word of God among us.

May we be people of the Word – our lives shaped, molded, and formed by God – so when life “announces” the joyful, the painful, and all the in-between, we are ready to say, “Be it done according to your Word.”

1 thought on “The Annunciation

  1. Father George, thank you for this. As a convert to Catholicism 13 years ago (what a beautiful journey it has been), I have always loved the Annunciation. The idea that God’s messenger came to Mary to announce that she would bear a Son. Just lovely I think. I have always loved the phrase “she pondered these things in her heart”. Ponder . . . it allows us to escape our every day lives and think about what truly is important. Today, it would be Christ coming into the world!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.