Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mar 25 - Solemnity of the Annunciation

Today the Church celebrates the announcement (or "Annunciation") of God's message to Mary by the archangel Gabriel. On this day, we remember that Almighty God sent His angel to Mary to ask for her consent to His plan, and we rejoice at her whole-hearted "Yes!"

Did you know that the old name for the Solemnity of the Annunciation was the Solemnity of the Incarnation? Many people mistakenly assume that Christmas is the feast of the Incarnation when, in reality, that is the date of Christ's birth. His incarnation, the moment when he took on human flesh, occurred some nine months earlier in Mary's womb, as soon as she said "Yes" to God's request. Just a couple of weeks later, her kinswoman Elizabeth recognizes Mary as "the mother of my Lord," the Lord whom she carries incarnate in her womb. In recognition of the awesome event when the Word was made Flesh, we genuflect during the Creed at Mass on this day.

Suggestions for celebrating the Annunciation:
* Read the story of the Incarnation from Luke 1:26-38.
* Use a famous painting of the Annunciation to discuss the gospel story.
* Study it as a work of art (parent resource here).
* Pray the Angelus.
* Begin the 9-month novena of the Incarnation.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Biology of Prenatal Development: Must Viewing

National Geographic is offering a new DVD: The Biology of Prenatal Development. Dave Andrusko reviewed it yesterday in his "News and Views" column for NRLC, here.

The video, produced by The Endowment for Human Development, combines imagery of the unborn child within the womb using multiple imaging technologies with information from the medical literature. You can read Dave's review of it at the above link. It sounds like an excellent resource for introducing and studying prenatal development. I plan to order one for use in high school.