« back to all posts

Feast of the Annunciation - Weekday Homily Blog

Feast of the Annunciation - Weekday Homily Blog

Learn more about our faith

Today, we gather to honor the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, a moment of divine intervention that forever changed the course of humanity. It was during this sacred event that St. Gabriel, the Archangel, descended from the heavens to deliver a message of profound significance to Mary. She was chosen to be the vessel for the divine incarnation of God Himself, Jesus Christ, through the miraculous workings of the Holy Spirit.



This year, we commemorate this event on April 8th, a deviation from its traditional date of March 25th. This shift occurs when March 25th coincides with Holy Week or the Easter octave, prompting the celebration to be moved to the first Monday following the Easter octave.


Chosen Date of the Annunciation


The choice of March 25th as the date of the Annunciation is steeped in deep historical and theological significance. Early Christian scholars, including Tertullian in the third century, St. Hippolytus of Rome, and St. Augustine, posited that Jesus Christ was crucified on March 25th. St. Augustine, in his Treatise, further asserted that Jesus’ death on the cross coincided with the day of His conception, thus linking the Annunciation and the Crucifixion in a profound cycle of life, death, and resurrection.

This date then sets the stage for the Christmas cycle, with Jesus’ birth celebrated nine months later on December 25th, Christmas Day. Subsequent events in Jesus’ life are also commemorated, including His circumcision on January 1st, now the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and His presentation in the Temple forty days after His birth, observed on February 2nd. The birth of St. John the Baptist, the herald of the Lord, is celebrated on June 24th, 3 months from now, in accordance with the angel’s message to Mary at the Annunciation that Elizabeth, her relative, was already in her sixth month of pregnancy.


God Became Man


The feast of the Annunciation is now celebrated as a solemnity and was first observed in the fourth or fifth century. It's centered around the Incarnation, which signifies that God has become one of us. From the beginning of time, God had already decided that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity would become human. "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).

The God of the universe opens up entirely to us, entirely to the weakness and beauty of humanity—God in the womb, in the manger, who walks among our streets, holds little children, touches lepers, and dies in human flesh. There is no greater welcome, no broader openness, no fuller embrace, and no invitation more joyful than this.

Mary has a significant role in God's plan, a God-given role resulting from God's grace from beginning to end. This is Mary's story and, at the same time, the story of each of us, of any of us, met with the perfect love of God amid our fear, struggle, poverty and weakness, insecurity and doubt, and hearing the words: 'The Lord is with you, do not be afraid'. It is an opportunity for us to respond, enter that risk, freedom, and openness, and say 'yes' to such a love.

  • To view the Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (If you are not a member of Facebook and a signup window appears, simply select the X at the top of the pop-up message and continue to the livestream.)

About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.