Today we read about the Annunciation of the Lord. I love this reading for so many reasons. It draws our attention to several vital aspects of our faith life.
First, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that Jesus, being truly man, experienced a normal gestation period. Since we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, today marks nine months until that time. Although we are in the Lenten/Easter season, we must always keep in mind the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus, truly God and truly man, incarnate for our salvation.
Secondly, spring is a time of renewal, hope, and anticipation. The leaves are budding on trees, the grass is shooting up, birds and other animals are on the move. The natural world is rhythmically moving from slumber to activity. We are likewise called to awaken from our dozing state and be attentive to what God has done and is doing. May we continually experience a sense of renewal and revival. We often experience winter or a dry season in life. God graciously calls us forth from this, watering us and giving us sunlight and warmth.
Finally, we have a sobering moment to reflect on the amazing love, faith, and obedience of Mary. “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Breathtaking in beauty, this affirmation shows how much she loved the Lord and His ways (including love for all mankind), the strength of her trust, and her resolute desire for God’s will to be done in her life and in the world.