In the 4th week of Lent, on 25th March, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation. The cause for this celebration is something I did not know, but was enlightened by our Parish Priest Fr. Andrew, who revealed in his homily last year on 25th March, that from 25th March to 25th December comprises the 9 months for the birth of Our Lord Jesus.
The Gospel of St. Luke (Ch. 1) begins with the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both old and could not have a child. But, “with God nothing is impossible”. The impossible happened. Elizabeth became pregnant. (vs.24) and “for 5 months she kept to herself remaining at home”. God respected Elizabeth’s feelings and waited till the sixth month to reveal this secret to Mary at the annunciation of Jesus, to confirm ‘the impossible” and strengthen her faith.
The Annunciation – an event that would change the course of history happened in a place of prayer, within the four walls of a room, with no witnesses. Therefore St. Luke must have received first hand details from Mary herself.
We know that Mary spent time in prayer. Though she was astonished by the appearance of Angel Gabriel, her prayerful life gave her a composure, to ask just one relevant question, “how can this be if I am a virgin?” and thus to give her answer in the context of the Scriptures.
The Holy Spirit came first on Mary (vs. 35), God’s Power overshadowed her, and the child to be born would be the Son of God. Hence she held the Trinity before anyone.
Mother Mary was unobtrusive, unlike the present day trend of wanting to be seen and heard. No one knew that she was visited by an Angel and was asked to be the Mother of God, even till the birth of Jesus (except her immediate family). We need to pray to Mary for her qualities of Humility, Silence, Submissiveness, Serenity, Self-respect(“I am a virgin”), for ourselves and our family, so that our home will be like that of the Holy Family.