For the feast of the Annunciation
It is a particular joy of mine to celebrate the various feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and especially today’s feast of the Annunciation. I grew up in a parish dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, and both parishes in which I served had small churches dedicated to her. The joy, however, is not about much loved buildings, as it is because of what we say, and believe about Mary, and her role in the mystery of the Incarnation. What we say, and believe about her, says a great deal about the mystery of God, and our vocation as Christians.
1 Chronicles 15: 3-4, 15-15; 16: 1-2
Luke 1: 26-38
It is our custom here at the monastery to keep many Saturdays during the year as mini feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Lord. We do this, not because it is an ancient monastic tradition, although it is; rather it is an ancient monastic tradition because what we say and believe about Mary and her role in the mystery of the Incarnation says a great deal about the mystery of God and our vocation as Christians.
As you may know Mary has a variety of titles, and not just “blessed virgin” or “mother of God” or “mother of the Lord”. One of my favourite ones is “Ark of God”.
For the Israelites of the Old Testament, the Ark of God was a physical reminder of the presence of God it their midst. It was the Ark that rested in the very centre of the Tent of Meeting, the Holy of Holies, and it was the Ark over which God’s glory hovered, for within the Ark was kept some manna from the wilderness; the two tablets of the Ten Commandments; and the staff of Aaron the High Priest.