The Annunciation


Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation and, this year, marks the 25th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life. Often referred to as the ‘Church’s love letter to the world’, this encyclical of Pope St John Paul has woven its way into the very fabric of our little community, and we are so grateful for it. If you haven’t read it, do!

Today’s feast comes to us as a mini Christmas in the midst of an especially desert-like Lent, and is characterised by pure JOY. A young girl from Nazareth gave her Yes to the Angel Gabriel and opened the door for God Himself to enter a world that was lost and broken – a world He had never stopped loving and never abandoned. Yet He knew well how important it was for us to be able to ‘see with our own eyes and look upon and touch with our hands the Word of life’ (1 John 1:1). Our Lady’s joy was immense because the grace and the miracle of it all far outweighed the immediate complexities, difficulties and fears arising from them.

Two years after the appearance of Evangelium Vitae, Cardinal Winning launched his pro-life initiative, which continues to operate in his name today. He understood that the natural and good response to pregnancy is joy and that, if we could only remove the very real obstacles to experiencing that joy that so many women and men face, they could have their children in peace. We give thanks for him, too, and pray for his eternal rest.

This beautiful painting, called ‘Our Lady of Light and Life’, hangs in our house. It was painted for us by Sheila Strachan, mother of Hilda (who volunteers with us) and Fr Alex (a priest of our Archdiocese). We give thanks for her too!

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