Wednesday 5th Week Lent 
(Feast of the Annunciation)

PHOTO: LAURENCE FREEMAN

Luke 1: 26-38: Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

There are for most of us certain scenes from our lives, impressed on our imagination, that we will never forget until we forget what our name is or what a key is for. Personal memories are selective but they retain something of the truth felt in certain special moments, whether those moments were marked by suffering or joy. In the long perspective of time, as the immediate emotional impact has faded but leaves a radiant deposit of truth and mystery, it doesn’t even matter so much whether the experience was joyous or anguished, loss or discovery, pain or bliss.

There are also certain scenes like that of the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke that seared themselves into the collective imagination of faith. They became the gold standard of meaning, a currency that everyone recognised as embodying meaning. And so in the era of ‘Christendom’ – when religion and culture were integrated and which has now passed - these scenes were represented, re-minted and commented upon over and over again. Walk through any gallery of Renaissance art.

Today, in the Annunciation, Jesus begins. The Word takes flesh. But it’s still in the secret mystery of the womb. When is a woman sure that she is pregnant? How do any of us know when something yet to happen is growing in us? What we see in today’s story is simply the great ‘Fiat’, the ‘let it be done’, the great ‘OK’ that allows it to begin. When conception occurs we don’t know yet what shape the future will take. In the present moment (in God) conception is now.

The moment of Annunciation is now for us all. Meditation is our OK.
 
With love
Laurence
 
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