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The Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary. [March 25.]

WE beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Annuciation is celebrated in the traditoinal Church exactly nine months before Christmas. Every year at this time, I read the story of the Annunciation and think of the miracle of God’s creation. The Scriptures again and again celebrate conception as something people pray for and rejoice in. All of God’s children are special to him, for he knows them when they are created in the womb; he knows their innermost being.

America is in a moral dilemma. Abortion is a great evil, and it reaches it’s ultimate evil in partial-birth abortion. As the courts rule against laws which would prohibit these abortions, others call for laws which would make the killing of a fetus by any other means by another person as murder. Can one logically hold both views? I think not. However, I do believe that the Scriptures for the Feast of the Annunciation clearly point to the Truth. God abhors the killing of the conceived child in womb of a woman. God is active in every aspect of creation, and as the psalmist wrote: For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother`s womb. I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. [Ps 139]

The Gospel today tells of God’s great gift to the world of his Son, Jesus, through the miracle of the Holy Spirit coming in power over Mary so that Jesus might be conceived in the Virgin’s womb. And when did this miracle occur? - at the point of conception, when the power of the Almighty was upon her. It was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seventh Chapter of Isaiah, that a Virgin should conceive a son, whose name shall be Immanuel – God With Us.

America has found it convenient for all the wrong reasons to allow the slaughter of millions of children. A mother’s womb is the most dangerous place for a child in this land. We go along treating this gift of God like so much unwanted rubbish to be discarded at a whim. I wonder what we have thrown away in our indulgence. God’s command was to go forth and multiply and be fruitful – not to kill our own children.

O Lord God, who did send the Holy Ghost upon the Virgin Mary that she might conceive your only Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world that we might be saved, so send your Holy Spirit upon this land to convict all men of the sanctity of life, and to move our hearts in compassion to save the unborn generations. Amen

The Epistle. Isaiah vii. 10.

MOREOVER the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

The Gospel. St. Luke i. 26.

AND in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

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