At about 11.00 pm on Sunday, 25 March, I suddenly came to the realisation that in four hours of "religious" activity during that day, Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville, from 10.00 to 11.00am, and three hours, from 7.00 to 10.00pm at a "Life in the Spirit" seminar, to my utter astonishment, not once did I hear a mention that 25 March is, or should be, the Feast of the Annunciation!
In this era, when contraception, abortion and euthanasia are so readily accepted in our society, it would be salutary, I believe, to re-emphasise the Feast of the Annunciation by perhaps changing the name to the "Feast of the Incarnation."
My intention in doing so is in no way to detract from the wonderful fiat of our Blessed Mother, but to highlight the fact that precisely through her agreement to become the Mother of God, our focus should be on the fact that God the Father, in His ineffable love for us sinful human beings, sent the Holy Spirit to "overshadow" Mary, and thereby conceive Jesus, a man like us in all things but sin, who was and is God the Son, the Second Person of the triune God.
Without derogating from the importance of Christmas, even though our society has well-nigh succeeded in trivialising and reducing "the Feast of the Birth", as it is called in Hebrew, to a money-spinner, to me the Incarnation is the moment when God gave Himself to us that we may have the possibility of eternal salvation.
While it is true there is good evidence Christ was not born on 25 December, since no shepherds or sheep could possibly be outdoors in Bethlehem at that time of the year (Mother Church in her wisdom using Christ's birth to blot out the pagan feast of the All Conquering Sun on that day), nine months before it, on 25 March, seems as good a day as any to celebrate that moment in history when Satan lost out to the loving-kindness of God towards sinful mankind.