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The Annunciation

The Annunciation

13 x 19.75 x 6.5”

The Annunciation is the announcement by the
angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would
conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ, the Son
of God. Gabriel appears to Mary, greets her, and
informs her that she has been chosen by God
to bear His Son through the Holy Spirit. Initially
troubled by the angel’s greeting, Mary accepts
her role with faith, saying, “Let it be done to me
according to your word.”

How do we “find God in all things?” Like in The Annunciation, God’s invitations happen amidst everyday life marked by everyday objects. The Annunciation struck me when I was at dinner one night in my Jesuit community. After dinner, we usually serve coffee and desserts to those at our table. Typically, one guy volunteers to get up and bring out tea and decaf coffee for the whole table. People often do it because someone has to do it. Some hope someone else does it so they don’t have to. Normally, the server carries all the mugs in hand and just plops them down like a waitress at a New Jersey diner. But I recall several evenings when one particular Jesuit in my community returned from the kitchen with this tray, decked out in accouterment, as if he was serving us at a fancy restaurant. It was pretty comical, bringing joy and laughter to the whole room, although just briefly. If God’s call to us is like volunteering to get coffee for others, then isn’t this tray the symbol of how we are called to answer God’s call to serve – not just others at the table but others in the world? Isn’t Mary’s “Yes” too, not something done out of sullen duty or avoided, but rather a creative and joyful response? Wouldn’t she bring out a tray, too?

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