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Merry Christmas (03/26/2006)
From: Eugene Schoener

March ushers in a new spring. The dormancy of winter is unlocked and Maggie's tulips will have started to break the earth. The longer days and more sunshine counter the depression of winter. The oak leaves lose their grip and the sap runs from the maples. Everything seems brighter and full of promise. And yet, the brightest point of the whole panorama is not physical, but rather the greatest spiritual/historical nexus of all time - the announcement of the conception of Jesus Christ.

The Annunciation coming as it does on March 25, in the midst of Easter celebrations does not stir our consciousness. "It comes to us ever so subtly" writes Bill Patenaud, columnist for Providence Visitor, Providence, RI.

Christians then, should remind the world that the person celebrated on December 25th, began his nine month journey prior to that date.

We have it all wrong. December 25th does not commemorate the beginning of Jesus' life. March 25th is the more accurate date for the beginning of life for Him. By December 25th, 269 days to His life had already passed. It seems that the emphasis should be balanced between His conception and birth.

On day one of that 269 days He became a two celled embryo with the same DNA He would have at the end of His life. On that day it was proclaimed, to a young Jewish girl, by an angel, "Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee."

Regarding the angel, Francis Thorton writes in his book The Rosary, "Great art has portrayed angels with wings, but those spoken of in Scripture had the outward appearance of men, nothing is mentioned about wings." Sorry! Cherubs.

The young girl trembled, contemplating the fact that she would be ostracized because of "her condition" and her abject poverty. She exercised her "first feminist" privilege by choosing "not to end the life to which she had been entrusted." She had the choice to reply (if put in the parlance of modern day teenagers) "forget it."

A "forget it" would have perpetuated the dismal malaise that humanity was in since the day it merited having the Garden of Eden changed into "the little apple." Her "yes" was our salvation.

Jesus took on human form and was revealed to the world on December 25th, 269 days after His life began on March 25th, making modern day Christmas relatively anticlimactic.

So, let's lift our glasses to the Annunciation on March 25th. That is what Christmas is all about. Ave Maria and Deo Gratias. 


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