The First Christian

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Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. It's celebrated on March 25 because that is exactly 9 months from Christmas. So let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas 2019!

The readings today all point toward Mary’s fiat, which we see in Luke 1, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Perhaps our Responsorial Psalm for today, taken from Psalm 40, sums it up best. “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.”

Mary has many titles in Catholic tradition. I think that one of my favorite ones, though not an official “title,” is “the first Christian.” Mary was the first one to truly accept Christ - to say yes to the Messiah. She experienced a closeness with Christ that no one else ever would or could. Many non-Catholic Christian traditions have tried to diminish the role of Mary. Some see her as just an interchangeable cog in God’s big wheel. But Mary’s role can never be diminished. As the mother of Jesus, if we are Jesus' brothers and sisters, then Mary is our mother as well.

Father, we thank you for the example of Mary, always saying yes to Your will. May we imitate her today and always. Amen.

Today's Readings

Most churches will be packed on Easter, and many will be folks who only attend Mass once or twice a year. Help teach them the faith by giving them free copies of A Minute in the Church, available at


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