25th Mar: Isaiah 7.10-14; 8.10; Ps 39; Hebrews 10.4-10; Lk 1.26-38
Ancient Christians thought the Crucifixion on Good Friday had occurred on 25th March; and because of their conviction that the Incarnation and the manifestation of its purpose [cf John 18.37] must have occurred on the same day, they fixed 25th March as the date of the Annunciation. Christmas, nine months later on 25th December, followed in natural sequence.
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will’ is a quotation from the Psalter [39(40).7-8] placed on the lips of the incarnating Christ as he wings his way from his heavenly home to make his home in the unlikeliest of places, the womb of a virgin in Nazareth. [cf John 1.46] Like every child of Adam, Jesus is made who he is by vocation, by the call of God. His response to that call—his acceptance of the imperative of that call—will make him who he is to be.
‘The Word was made flesh’. [John 1.14] On the floor of the Holy House in Nazareth an inscription reads ‘Verbum caro hicfactum est’—the Word was made flesh right here. No less than Jesus, Mary herself was made truly herself by vocation, by the call of God to her, by her acceptance of the imperative of that call. ‘Be it unto me according to thy word’ she replied to the angelic announcement. Thrice daily Catholic Christians recite the Angelus and affirm Mary’s Yes, an affirmation like unto God’s own. [cf II Corinthians 1.19-21]