APRIL 15, 2018 – 3rd Sunday of Easter

APRIL 15, 2018

3rd Sunday of Easter

“You are witnesses of these things.”


The Annunciation

This past Monday the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.  This feast is usually celebrated on March 25th, which is 9 months before December 25th, thus showing the natural connection between Jesus’ conception and his birth.  However, since this year March 25th was Palm Sunday, the Church transferred the Solemnity to the Monday after the Octave of Easter (i.e. this past Monday).

This Feast is actually a very important day, both as we celebrate the life of Jesus, and also for the significance it has in understanding the respect for life from the moment of conception.

Christmas is the feast that gets all the attention, and it certainly should be given great attention.  But it’s important to remember that Jesus didn’t become man at Christmas, he was just born at Christmas.  Christ became man at the Annunciation, when He was conceived in Mary’s womb.

There is a church in Nazareth which is built on the site where the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God.  And on the altar in this church, there is a beautiful inscription which (translated from Latin) says: “The Word was made flesh here”.  I love this.  In other words, there are lots of places in the Holy Land that can claim that Jesus was there at some point in his life, but only this place in Nazareth can claim that God entered our world and became man right here.

This feast is also important because it should re-affirm our dedication to the protection of children in the womb.  The fact is, Jesus was a human being, he was a real, live person, and this was true from the moment of his conception.  So also this is true about every child from the moment of conception.

As Catholics we cannot be indifferent on the topic of abortion.  Just as it would be unthinkable to consider that Mary was free to “choose” something different about her pregnancy with Jesus, so too it is unthinkable that we not stand up for the right to life of every child who has been conceived.

Consider Mary’s pregnancy: It was “unplanned”; she was poor; she was young; she was not yet married to Joseph; and she wasn’t carrying Joseph’s child.  She had every modern-day excuse to not continue her pregnancy.  Yet, despite these excuses, we cannot imagine Mary aborting Jesus because it was “inconvenient” for her.  So too every child conceived is sacred and must be respected.  The realization of Jesus’ own conception nine months before his birth should make every Christian very pro-life.

I encourage you to join me in praying daily for the protection of life in our world—from conception until natural death.  And may Mary, the Immaculate Mother of Jesus, and our Mother, give us courage and strength to boldly stand up for life.

Additionally, I encourage all men to join me once a month for the Catholic Watchmen.  We begin these gatherings by praying the rosary for the unborn as we gather around the Memorial of the Unborn in the Mary’s Garden behind church.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke


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