Dear friends in Christ,
Tomorrow is March 25, the day on which the church celebrates the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It might seem strange to ponder the mystery and joy of the incarnation right smack dab in the middle of Lent, but such is the nature of keeping a feast that happens exactly nine months before Christmas!
If you’re feeling the doldrums of Lent, here’s some good news. The Annunciation is a Major Feast day, and by tradition, one’s Lenten fast is set aside to celebrate boundless joy! In church, we use white vestments tomorrow, and even sing the Gloria in excelsis. (No allel**a though, still!)
The collect for this feast day is one of my favorites:
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I don’t know about you, but asking for a bit of grace to pour into my heart seems very much needed right about now. It’s been a rough year! As we stand on the verge of Holy Week, I also love the reminder that it is by the passion and death of Jesus Christ that our salvation is accomplished and Easter joy made possible.
The gift of God dwelling among us in the person of Jesus Christ is incomparable. In our suffering and trials, we know that God is never far from us. What a timely reminder.
Blessings to you on the eve of this most joyous feast!
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Image: Annunciation Icon National Museum Belgrade
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