Why Is the Annunciation Important?

Why Is the Annunciation Important?

Written by Rachel Kell, a Catholic wife, mother of four, and blogger at www.rachelkell.com

I can still remember the picture depicting the Annunciation in my Children’s Bible. Mary, looking serene and alone under a low ceiling, was sitting before the angel Gabriel.

As I heard the passage, it made sense in my young mind that angels often visited people in the Bible and that Mary had a place of honor as the ever-assumed mother of God. It was a simple story, seemingly just a prologue to the Nativity, and one without suspense. As the thin halos floated above the heads of Mary and Gabriel, it was obvious that Mary would say yes to God.

But as my faith grew, so did the clarity that there was nothing obvious about this moment.

It was not obvious that an angel would visit a young Jewish girl, no matter her depth of faith and devotion to God.

It was not obvious that the prophecies Mary grew up learning would be fulfilled in her lifetime, much less through her own body.

It was not obvious that the moment Mary said “yes” to God not only foreshadowed the birth of Christ, but was the very moment that Christianity began.

There was a moment in time before which Christianity did not exist and after which it could not be extinguished.

The Old Testament begins with the creation of the world, and in those early Genesis chapters, we can almost feel the quiet of the void. The darkness of the deep. The longing for something other than nothing to appear, and then God said “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) And there was light.

The New Testament begins with a world waiting, a world that had endured nearly 400 years with a silent God. We can almost feel the quiet of that void. The darkness of deep longing for the promised savior of the world. And then God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus…the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:31-1:35). And there was the Incarnation.

What is the importance of the Annunciation? God, after solely creating the universe, chose to partner with humanity to save it.

God set Mary apart from her conception, filling her with the grace of the Holy Spirit so that when the angel Gabriel appeared she would be able to say yes to God. Hers was a “yes” that humanity hinged upon. We know it wasn’t easy; Luke describes in his gospel how perplexed Mary was, and it is not without cause that Gabriel tells her “Do not be afraid.” We know it wasn’t obvious; Mary asked “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34), seeking a deeper understanding of God’s plan. But we also know that Mary’s faith was bigger than her fear because in her response we find a perfect blueprint for trusting God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).

The Annunciation is a direct invitation, for Mary and for us all, to partner with God in making His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Mary’s obedience led to the birth of Jesus and the salvation of the world; our obedience points the world back to Christ. Our willingness to respond rests in the belief that “…nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). We cannot fathom a world without Mary’s obedience, and it’s impossible to know what God wants to do in the world with our own.

May we have the grace and strength to answer His call as beautifully and completely as Mary modeled at the Annunciation: “Let it be done.”

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Our Catholic Jewelry

Shop our full collection of Catholic jewelry below