With this Feast of the Annunciation, my mind began to drift away from many of the more typical things said near this feast (especially about the implications of God becoming fully and completely human) and toward contemplating how this reality speaks to our modern age. Specifically, I began thinking about the reality of the Creator of the Universe living a completely human life, beginning with 9 months in the womb of His holy Mother. Our Lord’s sojourn in the womb of the Virgin Mary is perhaps the most resounding defeat of one of the greatest sins of our modern age – the horror of abortion.

Abortion is the voluntary decision of a mother to destroy the child in her womb [it is in no way similar to a miscarriage, which is a tragic occurrence in the life of any family]. We hear abortion supported with statements like, “it’s her body so it should be her choice,” followed closely by the irrational conclusion that the baby in her womb is not truly a human being until some later point (a randomly chosen point of maturation, or at worst, after birth…though there are some now who would even argue that a born child can be allowed to perish and that would be acceptable as well). These positions fly in the face of both logic and of human experience, and for the person claiming Christianity there can be no discussion. We see the Truth by simply glimpsing the Annunciation.

The Feast of the Annunciation (Luke 1:24-38) is the Christian feast remembering the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to the young girl Mary. At this appearance the Archangel says “behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” When Mary protests that she has never known a man, the Archangel reveals to her that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her and the Child will be formed in her womb. At the moment of Mary’s consent, “be it unto me according to your word,” the Incarnate Son of God was formed within her. God lived as both fully God and fully man, in the womb of Mary. This is why we revere her as Theotokos – “bearer [carrier, mother] of God in the flesh.” We see an additional mention of this reality as well – when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visits Elizabeth, she is greeted with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:41-42). Elizabeth and the baby within her womb, St. John the Baptizer, recognize the presence of Christ in the womb of Mary.

In the prophecy of Jeremiah we read “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (1:5). God knows us in the womb – we exist as complete human beings in the wombs of our mothers, exactly as Christ existed as fully God and fully man in the womb of His own earthly mother. Destroying a child in the womb through abortion is murder of a human being, plain as day. If God existed in the womb for 9 months, how can we be so foolish as to attempt to claim that the child in its mother’s womb is not truly human? Our nation cannot be allowed to continue to commit murder through indifference, ignorance, or convenience.

We live in a country which extolls the right of the individual; the right of every person to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When we will extend these same rights and privileges to the innocent and currently unprotected pre-born human beings of our nation? May God have mercy on our souls!