The Annunciation 

25th March 

This beautiful event (Luke 1:26-38) took place in Nazareth, when Mary is already betrothed to Joseph. The Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary, greets her as highly favoured, tells her not to be afraid, that she will bear a son Jesus, and that her elderly cousin Elizabeth is already pregnant (with John the Baptist).

The church calendar is never quite as neat as some would like it. To celebrate the Annunciation on 25th March does indeed place the conception of Jesus exactly nine months from His birth on 25th December, but the latter part of March almost inevitably falls during Lent. But the birth and death of Jesus are intrinsically linked – He was born to die, and thus fulfil God’s purposes.  

The Annunciation is a significant date in the Christian calendar – it is one of the most frequent depicted in Christian art.  Gabriel’s gracious strength and Mary’s humble dignity have inspired many artists.  Certainly, Mary’s response to the angel has for centuries been an example of good faith in practice – humility, enquiry of God, and trusting acceptance in His will for her life.

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