Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." ~ Luke 1:31

The Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis, 1712

The Feast of the Annunciation is probably my favorite mystery of the rosary.  Even before having my own son, and feeling life within me, The Annunciation always made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  But the feast, to me, always interrupts the flow of the liturgical seasons.  We are well on our way in our Lenten journey, turning into grouchy people for giving up carbohydrates, sweets, or coffee bringing our bodies and our spiritual lives into submission with our sacrifices, and now we're talking about Mary being pregnant... again?  Wasn't Christ just born, and didn't we just feast our way through Christmas?  

Ah, but I learned something recently.  The Feast of the Annunciation is on March 25th... nine months before Christmas... December 25th.  Just when I'm thinking somebody goofed and was trying to slip this feast in anywhere.  But, that still doesn't explain the interruption of our Lenten journey.  

There is usually warmth and excitement and joy surrounding a baby's coming.  The placement of the feast in the middle of Lent is a reminder of the clear purpose for Christ's coming.  Christ came to die.  For us. He was born in to human life to give us eternal life.  

It is for this reason, we remember, that we make our Lenten sacrifices.  To remind ourselves of Christ's sacrifice for us, and hopefully, give us a greater understanding of the love from which that sacrifice flowed.  His love for us gave His sacrifice purpose.  Is your Lenten sacrifice just a burden for you?  If so, might I suggest giving it a purpose?  If you gave up Starbucks, add up the money from all the times you would have gotten coffee and give it to a charity.  Or stick it in a mailbox of a family in need.  If you gave up chocolate, send it all to me.  If you gave up social media, go have face-to-face time with a family member or friend who needs a pick-me-up.  Or write a letter to cheer someone up.  

Our sacrifices help us say no to something, and it opens us up to saying "yes" to something that God has for us.  What does God want you to say "yes" to?

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