Monday, March 26, 2007


Unidentified painting courtesy

Yesterday, the 25th of March, is the traditional feast day of the Annunciation, which appeared on a Sunday this year, thus transferring its active observance to Monday.

On this feast, the Church commemorates the appearance of the angel Gabriel to a young girl in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee -- a girl named Miriam (Mary). It was on that occasion that she was filled with the Holy Spirit, and though a virgin betrothed to a local carpenter named Yusef (Joseph), was thus conceived in the womb with the Son of God, whom she would deliver exactly nine months later.

Tradition says that Christ was crucified on the 25th of March. Another commentator elaborates on the significance of this date:

On that same day Adam, the first man, was created and fell into original sin by inobedience, and was put out of paradise terrestrial. After, the angel showed the conception of our Lord to the glorious Virgin Mary. Also that same day of the month Cain slew Abel his brother. Also Melchisedech made offering to God of bread and wine in the presence of Abraham. Also on the same day Abraham offered Isaac his son. That same day St John Baptist was beheaded, and St Peter was that day delivered out of prison, and St James the more, that day beheaded of Herod. And our Lord Jesu Christ was on that day crucified, wherefore that is a day of great reverence. (Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275)

So it was not only the incarnation of Christ, but the whole of salvation history, which tradition holds to have been brought to full circle on this day.

Now, I probably shouldn't brag about this, but I had an annunciation of sorts last night.

I was sitting in church with Mom, and we heard an announcement from the pulpit that Dad had passed away. I looked at her and began whispering, in an exchange that went something like this:

"Hey Mom, did you know about this?"

"Well of course I knew about it. What kind of a question is that?"

"Well, you could've said something beforehand, you know? I didn't even bring a suit to wear."

"Oh, don't worry about it. Just show up with whatever you've got. Your brother and his boys aren't getting all dressed up. Why do YOU have to?"

Fortunately, that's when I woke up.

I called the house early this morning. Ever the farmer's daughter, Mom still gets up "with the chickens." Yesterday, the weather was so nice, they went to a dinner at the parish hall, honoring couples with special wedding anniversaries. Their 55th will be in June. Dad hadn't been there in a few years, not being up to it and all.

From that, I can deduce that he's still among us.

And so it goes...

No comments: