The Feast of the Annunciation is traditionally celebrated every year on March 25th. But this year it has been bumped off the liturgical calendar by the already expanded Celebration of Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday combined.
What to do? What to do?
I decided to Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation by reflecting on my favorite image that was painted by the artist Henry Ossawa Tanner in 1898. Tanner was influenced by the time he spent in the Holy Land and seeing first hand the places where many biblical stories actually took place.
I have altered Tanner’s painting to include what I think may have been close to the vision of what Mary saw in her future during her encounter with the Angel Gabriel. She saw herself as the Mother of Jesus…who would be born from her womb nine months later in a town called Bethlehem.
When I saw this “life size” painting of the Annunciation at the Philadelphia Art Museum a few years ago, I was inspired to reflect on what God was calling me to do with my life, and how I might respond. Every year, on March 25th, I put myself in the place of Mary in this painting and ask: “God, what would you have me to do during this next stage of my life.” And then I get a glimpse…just a glimpse…of what that might be. Perhaps you might want to do the same.
In closing, I share with you this poem/prayer by Julie Parker:
May Light touch that place where you fear to go…
May Love embrace what you don’t yet know.
May you hear the call of your Soul’s sacred song.
May you come home to yourself, its where you belong…
(Image of Mary holding Jesus is a statue entitled “Lady of the Vineyard” in the Beguinage, The Community of the Vineyard, in Brugge, Belgium.)