Happy Easter, still
In case you weren’t aware there is Easter day (last Sunday), the octave of Easter (from last Sunday through this Sunday), and then the entire Easter season (from Easter day through Pentecost). But there is another day that we are celebrating this Monday that is a little out of place, the Feast of the Annunciation.
The Feast of the Annunciation is one of those days that we might not remember the date immediately, but we can calculate it pretty quick. Since it is the Annunciation of Christ, it falls nine months before Christmas, so March 25th. But Monday is April 9th, that’s over two weeks late. The reason is because we had a few other days that took priority. First there was Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week, then the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, and then the Octave of Easter. Smaller feasts such as the feast of St. Vincent Ferrer (April 5th) or St. John Baptist de la Salle (April 7th) were suppressed this year, but the Annunciation needs to be celebrated, even if a little late.
I have always considered that the fact that the Church has celebrated the Annunciation beginning in the Gospel of Luke through the centuries as being such an important sign of our consistent respect and understanding of life beginning at conception. This feast, that is now officially called “The Annunciation of the Lord”, had been referred to up to 1969 as “The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.” This was the moment when Mary said yes to God. That Christ’s life as man began. This isn’t a practice that has just become popular in response to changes in birth control and laws on abortion, but rather demonstrates our consistent understanding of life, how we participate in this incredible gift from God, and the responsibilities that come with that participation.
As we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation we should be grateful for God’s gift, for Mary’s acceptance, and for all life and those who accept God’s gift and accept the responsibility of caring for this new life they have been given.
And in case you were not able to be at the Easter Vigil last week I just wanted to let everyone know that we welcomed into the Church Laurie Hoff as well as celebrating her Confirmation and First Communion, welcome Laurie.