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December 2002 Newsletter

If Mary Was Pro-choice There Would Be No Christmas

Words from a pro-life bumper sticker. Words to ponder. I found an article on EWTN’s website about the Feast of the Annunciation. The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the most important in the Church calendar. It celebrates the actual Incarnation of Our Savior, Jesus Christ --the Word made flesh in the womb of His mother, Mary. The biblical account of the Annunciation is in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, which describes the news given to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Incarnation of God, and records the "angelic salutation" of Gabriel to Mary, “Hail, thou who art highly favored. The Lord is with thee" which is the origin of the repeated "Hail Mary" prayer of the Rosary. St. Luke’s Gospel also records Mary's response to God's will; "Let it be done to me according to thy word."
The Feast of the Annunciation teaches us important lessons about the inestimable value God places on human life. First, that He loved us so much that He chose to become one of us--to take on our humanity so completely that he "became flesh", as utterly weak and dependent as any human infant is. Second, God became "like us in all things except sin" at the moment of His conception in Mary's womb, not at some later time. The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Article 3 of the Creed states, "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (#436-511).
Children may, quite naturally, think that the birth of Jesus is the time when Our Savior first “became Man”, especially since Christmas has become the Christian holiday in our culture. We understand best what we can see, what is visible. The invisible is no less real for our lack of seeing it. We think of the baby in its mother's womb, known and felt, though unseen, only to her. Even very young children can know the truth about the growth of a baby inside its mother's body, especially if the mother of the family happens to be pregnant on the holiday. The nine months' wait from March 25th (Feast of the Annunciation) to December 25th for Baby Jesus to be born would be interesting to most children. God made no special rules for His own bodily development! What better way than the reading of the first chapter of Luke to gently begin teaching children about the beginning of each new human life?
The Magisterium’s most comprehensive statement on the sanctity of life, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae, was issued on March 25, 1995, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. At Mary’s "Fiat," God began existing in a human nature--a human nature at the earliest stages of its development within Mary’s body. The encyclical states, "In the mystery of Christ's Birth the encounter of God with man takes place and the earthly journey of the Son of God begins, a journey which will culminate in the gift of His life on the Cross. By His death Christ will conquer death and become for all humanity the source of new life. The one who accepted "Life" in the name of all and for the sake of all was Mary, the Virgin Mother. She is thus most closely and personally associated with the Gospel of life. Mary's consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity (John 10:10). Through her acceptance and loving care for the life of the Incarnate Word, human life has been rescued from condemnation to final and eternal death.
As the Church contemplates Mary's motherhood, she discovers the meaning of her own motherhood and the way in which she is called to express it. At the same time, the Church's experience of motherhood leads to a most profound understanding of Mary's experience as the incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for." (Evangelium Vitae, 102).

“O holy night! The stars are brightly shining; it is the night of the dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine! O night, when Christ was born!”

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