Skeptics scoff at Christianity for many reasons, one of which is its miracles, of course. But for a moment, consider the miracles of Christianity. They are not far-fetched and strange. They are not fanciful. They do not involve strange creatures or truly odd - as in bizarre - occurrences. They are, as C.S. Lewis noted in his book, Miracles, not exceptions to the laws of nature, but fulfillments of them, small miracles which fit into the pattern of the Great Miracle of God's direction for creation itself.
I contend that in all these miracles alike the incarnate God does suddenly and locally something God has done or will do in general. Each miracle writes for us in small letters something God has already written, or will write, in letters almost two large to be noticed, across the whole canvas of Nature. They focus at a particular point either God's actual, or His future, operations on the Universe....Not one of them is isolated or anomalous: each carries the signature of the God whom we know through conscience and from Nature. Their authenticity is attested by the style
And so on the Annunciation we remember the miracle - as Lewis also writes - of the particular act of God for all of creation focused on "...a Jewish girl at her prayers." And the news - the announcement - of a child.
When I reflect on this feast, I can't help but think of the thousands of girls and womens receiving their own annunciations today and every day. From blue spots on white sticks. From doctors. From the messages given by their own bodies. For many, there is joy. For others, there is confusion and ambivalence. For still others, there is fear, rage, distress, pain and humiliation.
About the child.
In an upcoming issue of Our Sunday Visitor, there's a column about a scandal just as profound as the clergy sex scandals: the scandal of Catholic indifference to abortion. I can't help but agree. We're calling our leaders to accountability, and rightly so. But what about us? What about the Word we've been given, too? What are we doing about the deaths occurring under our watch? Even one prayer? Even one?
The miracle of the Incarnation, of God with us, happened, not via ghosts or visions or apparitions or anything reeking with mysticism. It came in the news of a baby on the way.
Pray for the women and girls receiving their own annunciations today. Pray that they have the strength to say yes. Pray for their husbands, boyfriends and parents - that they will say yes, as well.