The significance of March 25th 2016... The Annunciation, Good Friday and the power of "yes."
I know, I post this every year, but today - March 25th - is my favorite day of the year. I am not entirely sure why, but I love it more than my birthday, more than any other holiday. It's just something God planted in me.
It's the feast of the Annunciation in the Catholic Church - the day the Blessed Virgin Mary said, "yes" to an unplanned pregnancy. The day she accepted God's will for her, at all cost. It's the day faith literally came alive, the day complete and utter trust bloomed with life-saving fruit. March 25th is the day of the Incarnation. It's the day God Almighty (who transcends time and space), actually stepped into it, and made his home in the small confines of a 14 year old girl. He who is "light" settled himself in the darkness of a womb. The "giver of life" took life from her -- DNA, blood, nutrients. The God who created flesh, clothed himself in it. The One who "always was," gave himself a sort of beginning. Without today there is no Christmas; there is no Easter... There is no hope.
Today, essentially, is the birthday of the Church. And this year, it is all the more special. This year, the Incarnation coincides with Good Friday. Think about that. The day He entered flesh coincides with the day He offered that flesh to the Father, and then stepped out of it. Scholars and historians have said that this is how it actually was. That Christ did actually die on the same day He was conceived, March 25th. The saintly feast of the good thief, for example, is on March 25th (saint's feast days are marked by the day of their death.) Friends, think about this day for a minute. Really really meditate on it. Today marks the day that Christ entered the world (in a womb), the day He offered Himself for the world (on a Cross), and the day He exited the world (on an earthquake and a storm).
Today is a day unlike any other day. A day to celebrate the "yes," to meditate on the plan... to remember and to give thanks for the sacrifice. It is a holy and sacred day, filled with power and love and hope. And it should be lived as such. So friends, today I challenge you: to stop amidst the busy-ness for as long as you are able, and to really enter into the day. Enter into the mystery. In silence and in prayer (like the Virgin Mary did) listen for the voice of God, who is asking something of you right now. Something that may be hard to do, something that may not make sense right now. Something that you didn't plan or foresee, but something that will prove to be life-giving... And in that moment - with all your heart, all your strength and all your soul - give Him your yes. Give Him your yes and then stand up from your prayer and set out upon the way, with new life inside you. Through insults and condemnation, through jeers or a physical scourging; through fatigue and falls... keeping walking, to the top of the hill where your prize awaits and the earth, as you know it, will quake with Heavenly applause.
I know there are many of you who understand what I am saying right now. I can feel it in my bones as I type. Your "need" to hear this is convicting me and inspiring me with great passion. I know you get it. You're weary. You're wounded. You're looking for a Simon. Friends, I'm here to tell you: He is with you. The King of the universe is with you. He cares for you. He wants to help you. It all hinges on you though... on a yes... on a tiny, little word that just might change everything. May the Holy Spirit give you the strength to utter it. God bless you my dear friends. God bless you.