Celebrating the Annunciation and Incarnation
Celebrating a Better Easter
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
“ … Christ’s Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God's Son, and is its fulfillment in accordance with God's eternal plan.” CCC 653
The Annunciation/Incarnation provides an excellent opportunity to help the catechumens prepare for their reception of Jesus Christ on Easter in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. This day is the most important day in their lives as they become Born Again, or Begotten from Above, into God’s family (John 3:3). It is, or at least should be, a turning point in their lives that deserves a most special attention on our part to help them recognize it as such.
The Annunciation/Incarnation provides a certain prelude or preparation for this event. Or, if the celebration of the Annunciation and Incarnation follows Easter then it can serve as a deepening into the awareness of what it means to live a life in Christ as they ponder their vocation.
As the homilist expounds upon the turning point in human history, the Annunciation/Incarnation, the catechumens will grow in appreciation for what Jesus Christ offers and they will be led to a deeper commitment in following their Savior. This occasion provides the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Christ coming into the world to save us and we will be moved to esteem the importance of Christ coming into our lives and enabling the changes that only He can bring.
This Solemnity provides an excellent opportunity to contrast the destructive worldly forces with the hope and beauty that is offered by Jesus Christ.
The One True God, Jesus Christ in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, offers us true healing, wholeness, and happiness. In contrast the world offers a multitude of false gods that lead to a host of problems and abuse. For example, some worldly comedians worship the idea of being funny, at the expense of making fun of and hurting others. Some lawyers worship a system that has made them rich, at the expense of true justice and compassion for the victims and the disadvantaged. Some psychologists worship the idea of making their patients feel good about themselves and their sins, at the expense of truth and responsibility. Some talk show hosts worship the idea of being popular, at the expense of glorifying sin. Etc. In contrast Jesus Christ offers us many spiritual gifts. These include the priesthood - the opportunity to have our sins forgiven and to receive sound spiritual direction and to be united with Christ, etc. Truly, the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the grace He provides enables us to make this world and our lives a better place.
For more, on how Christ and His revelation has changed the world, see
Increasing our focus on Jesus’ and Mary’s acceptance of their vocations given to them by God the Father will be helpful in many ways and for several reasons. Not only would it be helpful in regards to consecrated religious vocations, but it would help inspire those in the laity to fulfill their role as well. How much better off would the world be ...
Besides giving to us the perfect examples of fulfilling ones vocation, the Incarnation and Annunciation offer to us the perfect formula for making that possible. It is not just our own personal commitment or inner strength that makes it possible (Matthew 26:33), but by following the example of Jesus and Mary by developing a deeply personal and loving relationship with God the Father through much faith and prayer.
Unfortunately some people today expect their priests to only tell them what makes them feel good. (Cf. 2 Timothy 4:3) They assume that the priest, the church, the world, and even God owe them a life without suffering. They look to God primarily for Him to save them from suffering. By reflecting on Mary’s “Yes” to her vocation and by reflecting on her life’s example in how she was not saved from suffering in this life the lay faithful will have a greater opportunity to be cured of these possible false expectations and to grow in a greater appreciation of a salvation from sin rather than just a salvation strictly from suffering. This deeper awareness of the meaning of life will aid them in discerning and living out their vocation.
Pope Benedict XVI Speaking about the Annunciation
“Behold, I am the handmaid of
the Lord, let it be done to me according to your Word". Mary's reply to
the Angel is extended in the Church … The “yes” of Jesus and Mary is
thus renewed in the “yes” of the saints, especially martyrs who are
killed because of the Gospel.”
Therefore, focusing on the coming of Christ in the Annunciation and the Incarnation lays the groundwork for a better celebration of Easter.