The Annunciation of the Lord is celebrated today because its normal day of celebration, March 25, fell on a Sunday in Lent. This is a beautiful story to present to youth and has a lot of meat for all of us who are seeking to do God’s will in our lives.
The announcement of the birth of Jesus, what we call the Annunciation, is recounted in Luke 1:26-38. It parallels the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist and highlights the beauty of Mary’s response and the exalted position of Jesus. It takes place in Nazareth, a tiny town that has no historical significance and helps to convey the Gospel message of God working through the poor and lowly.
The messenger is the angel Gabriel, but the focus of the story is on Mary and her response. She is a young girl—the Greek word used by Luke means both virgin and young girl. What Gabriel said to her must have startled her, and yet she maintained her composure and accepted the challenge. Catholics regard this as a decisive moment in the history of Christianity, for it was the first time that someone would say yes to Jesus as savior. The liturgy for the feast of the Annunciation refers to this moment as “the beginning of the Church.”
Below you will find two lesson plans: one for younger children and one for high school students and RCIA participants. We have also included a video clip from a series that is catechetical and focused on local foods/recipes. Please enjoy.