The Feast of the Annunciation (normally March 25th)
Sometimes, looking at the placement of certain feasts during the Church year, I have to wonder. Obviously, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th because it is exactly nine months before Christmas on December 25th. It’s nice and it’s neat and it’s all tied up with a pretty little bow. But, it struck me this year, as it’s in Lent, towards the end of Lent at that, if perhaps we aren’t meant to take more from it than the whole “nine months” thing.
When the Archangel Gabriel told Mary what God was asking of her, it must have been terrifying for her. She was young, not yet married, and a virgin. She could lose everything: her family, her fiance, her place, her life quite frankly. Mary knew all of this. And yet, what she said was simple: Fiat. Let it be done. She willingly accepted God in a quite literal and very real manner. She said to His messenger essentially, “I’ll do it. Yes! Whatever God wants, I’ll do it!” Her only question? How? How will this be done?
Perhaps, by placing the celebration of Mary’s Fiat right now, right when many of us are struggling to maintain our Lenten sacrifices in the “home stretch” as it were, the Church is reminding us of how we should be striving to respond to God in our own lives. Fiat, let it be done. Whatever is the Father’s will, let it be done in our lives. After all, without Mary’s Fiat, without her cooperation in God’s plan of salvation, would we be celebrating the same Easter we are preparing for right now, and in every Lent?
So, for these next two weeks, perhaps we should all try to remember that one simple word, Fiat, and let that be our answer to anything we feel God is asking of us as we prepare our souls to celebrate the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday. It may be scary, but obviously, as with Mary, the results will definitely be worth the effort.