March 27, 2016

Cosmic coincidence: The Annunciation and Good Friday by Mary Aquin O'Neill rsm

The feast of the Annunciation coincides with Good Friday this year, inviting us to think about the two feasts together. The liturgy has a marvelous way of collapsing time, making events that are separate in historical time coexist for the participants. If we keep in mind the two events of the Annunciation and the Passion, March 25 will be an occasion to reflect on how these mysteries meet in our own lives.

Triptych with the Annunciation, known as the "Merode Altarpiece" wikidata:Q285392  Public domain

We might consider the connection between the beginning and the end. Already, at his conception, Jesus' mission was given. Through his life, he grew into it until faithfulness to this mission led to the ultimate sacrifice. We might think, then, of the life's mission into which each of us has been growing, and what sacrifices it has and is likely to exact. Such meditation will surely lead to earnest prayer for the grace to be faithful and the courage to face the consequences of that faithfulness.

For Mary this day also marks a beginning and an end. The Annunciation marked the beginning of her motherhood, and Good Friday signaled an ending that was also a beginning. In the course of surrendering one son to death, she was asked to adopt another and take him as her own.

Artists through the ages have understood the deep intermingling of joy and sorrow for Mary in the original invitation from God. They convey it in overt and subtle ways. An early (c. A.D. 700) silk panel shows a spindle in the shape of a cross. Robert Campin shows crosses in the windows and in the sconces of the room where Mary sits. Leonardo da Vinci depicts Mary at a lectern placed on a sarcophagus when she receives the angel...

Continue reading this article published here in the Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Mary Aquin O'Neill rsm

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