As Father said at Mass this morning, it is kind of startling what the Church does to us - here we are in the middle of Easter celebrations (or more typically, Lent) and suddenly we have the Feast of the Annunciation. And yet it is fitting and proper that nine months before Christmas we should celebrate this glorious feast that started it all.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God... And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. John 1:1,2,8,9
The Incarnation is what began our redemption through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and so we can't not celebrate it. The Annunciation was moved from the 25th this year because every day in the Octave of Easter is a Solemnity, the Church's highest form of feast day, and no other feast can be observed during this time. But just like families sometimes do due to other circumstances, birthdays and celebrations get moved but we don't just forget about them. Today's readings are just so beautiful I have included them here:
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!”
Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10
Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”
First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The beginning of our beloved Hail Mary or Ave Maria prayer comes right out of today's gospel reading-
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
This of course makes perfect sense!
Some ideas for feast day goodies can be found in my post from last year. Find a coloring page here or a more detailed one here, courtesy of Jenn at Family in Feast and Feria. And Alicia has reminded us that now it the time to start the Impossible Novena which will end at the celebration of the Nativity.
Blessed, happy feast day to all of you!