Sometimes in the history of our salvation the stars line up to portend amazing events. These stellar alignments are sometimes literally stellar, as in the case of the Star of Bethlehem. I, for one, buy the arguments for the Star made HERE (which also concerns what lined up with your planet’s yellow star on that first Good Friday).
Years line up, too. Take the curious situation we face this year, when many portentous anniversaries are coincident. It’s a bit unnerving.
But I digress. This is about Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation. This is the day when we celebrate the moment of the Incarnation. Mary says her “Fiat” and the Eternal Word takes our humanity into an indestructible bond with His divinity. From the instant of His conception, nothing would ever be the same again. And so we celebrate 25 March – nine months before the Feast of the Nativity – with great attention.
This is the day there occurred that which drives us of the Roman Rite to our knees with great frequency. In our traditional liturgical practice, we take a knee every time in the Last Gospel of Mass Father says: et verbum caro factum est… and the Word was made flesh. We genuflect every time we sing in the Creed: et homo factus est… and he was made man. The Son, consubstantial with the Father from before creation, becomes consubstantial with His human Mother, with our humanity in the instant of the Incarnation after the Annunciatory Archangel’s announcement to Mary Annunciate that she would conceive… if she agreed.
One gets the impression that God gives us clues in the mighty whirling clock of the heavens. After all, God knows how to do this stuff. Had there been tiny variations in strong and weak nuclear forces in the fractions of a second after the beginning of material creation, if the Big Bang Theory is correct, and we wouldn’t be here. God is precise. His precision in creation suggests that we should pay close attention to the celestial signs He puts in front of and above our faces.
It was the very moment when the “fullness of time” began.
How much did hang upon that momentary meeting?
The 25th of March has, through history, has been considered the most important day of the year. In ancient times it was thought that many events critical for our salvation took place on this same date. Augustine posited that that Christ’s Incarnation, His Conception, as well as His Crucifixion, His Death, was on 25 March. They also thought that God’s “Day of Rest”, the Eight Day after Creation was 25 March. Moreover, the Hebrews crossing of the Red Sea (death and resurrection, the fall of man and his rising in baptism) and Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (the two-fold prefiguring of Christ, priest and victim in one Person, ascending the hill to the altar/Cross) were on, yes, 25 March.
In other news, on this day, Frodo and Sam reached Mount Doom. You know what happened next.
One gets the impression that God gives us clues in the mighty whirling clock of the heavens. After all, God knows how to do this stuff. Had there been tiny variations in strong and weak nuclear forces in the fractions of a second after the beginning of material creation, if the Big Bang Theory is correct, and we wouldn’t be here. God is precise. His precision in creation suggests that we should pay close attention to the celestial signs – and calendrical coincidences – which He graciously puts in front of and above our faces.