Saturday of the Third Week in Advent
Malvern Minute


Saturday of the Third Week in Advent

December 21, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry


Memorial Feast:  Saint Peter Canisius (1521-1597) – Patron Saint of Catholic Press

Song of Songs 2:8-14

Psalm 33

Luke 1:39-45

Some of the feastdays we celebrate seem to be too rich or too complex for us to do them justice in our celebration or our reflections.  I think especially of Holy Thursday, but I have the same feeling about Christ’s Baptism as well as the Transfiguration.  The one that interests me most, however, is what we are focusing on in this passage from Saint Luke.

When we celebrate March 25th we call it the “Feast of the Annunciation” and what we center on almost exclusively is Mary herself and her “yes” response to God.  That is not what the word “annunciation” indicates, however, although that centering is better than dwelling on the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary what God is about to do, as if she had no voice in the matter.  This is simply what Luke says in his narrative.

If we wished to maintain our concentration on Mary and on her response, we might well begin to refer instead to this as the “Feast of the Invitation,” where God the Father asks whether Mary would be willing to bear His Son.  This could bring out the respect God shows her as well as the very personal attitude she has in her acceptance.

In my very humble opinion I would prefer to call it the “Feast of the Incarnation,” since considering our position at which life begins, since this is the day which we celebrate the most central event in the history of the universe and all creation. 

I think we might even transfer some of the emphasis we give to Christmas to this day, whether the quiet scene with Mary and Gabriel has all sorts of warm images and memorable stories attached to it or not.

What then should we call this day; Annunciation, Invitation or Incarnation?  All that matters is that it did happen. 

Question of the Day:  Will you approach the importance of the “annunciation” as a reminder of why we defend the dignity of life from natural conception to natural death?

Prayer:  Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.



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