The Annunciation And Life
The Annunciation: James Tissot
Imagine for a moment you are in your bedroom, praying before going to sleep when you see a light penetrate the darkness of the room and an angel appears. This angel greets you in a way that is unfamiliar and even a bit disturbing, but even more amazing and unnerving is the message he brings!
This is precisely what happened to Mary at the Annunciation; you know the rest of the story.
I would like to bring and apply this Solemnity to our own day and time. I believe that in some way every woman who receives the message that she will bear a child lives a mini, modern day Annunciation. Granted it is a doctor or nurse that usually delivers the message, but I submit they are God's angels at that moment.
Mary gave the angel her fiat when she said: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38) Even in the midst of confusion and I am sure a little fear, she gave herself, without reserve, over to God's will for her.
Many women today do the same when they receive the message of a child to be born; many do not. The fear and the confusion overtakes them causing them to forget that this baby is a gift from God.
We live in a culture and a country that has made refusing this gift a "constitutional right".
As someone who bought into these lies and exercised this so called right, I know all too well the pain and devastation it causes.
Whenever I pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and in particular, The Annunciation, I always offer it for women and men who find themselves in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. I pray for the men as well as the women because they can have a profound effect on the woman's decision to proceed with or terminate the pregnancy.
My prayer for these women and men is that like our Lady, they will see this news as good news and give themselves over to God's care and the care of others who will support them in their decision to choose life.
Our Lady, at the time of the Annunciation, was a young unwed mother. She found her courage in the God who loved and created her. She not only faced public humiliation in choosing to bring our Lord into the world, she faced death by stoning as well.
St Joseph, whose feast we celebrated this past Friday, is a wonderful role model for young men who find themselves in these circumstances. He too listened to God and was able to give Mary the love and support she needed.
May young couples who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy look to our Lady and St Joseph for the strength and courage they need to say yes to God in choosing life.