Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feast of the Annunciation (Christ's Incarnation)

Today, March 25th, is the Feast of the Annunication, or the Incarnation. It is when God tells Mary that she is with child through the workings of the Holy Spirit and will bear a son, and his name will be Jesus the Christ. This is a very important feast which takes on more significance during our day and age. The Church recognizes that Christ came into this world in human flesh 9 months before his birth, which we celebrate on December 25th. We recognize this same fact for all people. Although we have a date of birth, we actually come into existence around 9 months prior to this at conception.

Christ's conception is not celebrated as the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception is actually a feast for Mary, the Mother of God (the Theotokos). It is called Immaculate because she was preserved from the stain of original and actual sin throughout her life from the moment of conception. Of course, we believe she was able to be saved from sin by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Christ is everyone's Savior, including Mary's. Christ's conception, of course, is immaculate by its very nature, but it is not refered to that way. We usually speak of the Virgin Birth in the case of Christ.

This is a day for Pro-life thoughts and action. Mary treasured Jesus from the moment of his conception and protected him, with the help of St. Joseph. We must protect all human life from the first second of existence as a small person, otherwise known as an embryo. The fact that the universal church honors Christ's conception shows her respect for life at all stages.

Today is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but that does not lessen its signifcance. Let us pray today for an end to abortion. In your prayers, remember Jesus as a small embryo waiting to come into the world. Even then he is God. And remember that all human life whether they are 30, 100, or not even born are equally valuable. Also remember those who suffer from physical and mental handicaps. They too are children of God and must be given full respect and dignity.

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