My unofficial poll on the need to explain today’s feast came to a disappointing conclusion: clergy and theologians both need schooling on whose conception is observed today. A social media friend posted an image from Conception Abbey of Mary as Immaculate Conception. Only it showed her as an adult, with all the usual Revelation accoutrements, and the Holy Spirit beaming down on her from “above.” Yes, I know it is the traditional depiction, but …
I don’t know about lay people, but I give there too. I’ve heard homiletic variations on whose conception for over a half century. I thought if I had it straight, surely most everyone else did too.
Time to advocate hard for a Lectionary change. Another social media friend suggested this Gospel:
Jesus’ mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)
Anything would be better than the Annunciation, it seems.
Image credit of the Annunciation to Anne from the Chora Church, Istanbul: Copyright © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16832730