On the day the angel of the Lord came to a city from Galilee, the name of which was Nazareth, to a virgin who was betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, and the name of the virgin was Mary, humankind was not to know the importance and the perspective of that visit.
On the day the angel appeared to the blessed, greeted her, and said, “The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” Neither she nor humankind knew what was coming would be.
On the day Mary was troubled by seeing the angel and by his words, and thinking what the meaning of this greeting might be, she was not aware that it was about to usher a new age for humankind.
On the day the angel reassured Mary, saying to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God, and behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son and name him Jesus, He will be called the son of the Most High and His Reign will be without end”. Nobody realized that He who came in the name of the All Powerful, would be the one who will plant the vine that will spring from Antioch - where His followers were first called Christians, from the Levant, to encompass the whole world.
On the day the angel promised Mary “the Holy Spirit dwells on You and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so also the Holy One who is born of you will be called the Son of God” we the forthcoming generations were not aware towards what we were heading.
On the day Elizabeth said to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb,” the Almighty was to declare with her tongue, suggesting to humanity that the time had come.
The day Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is His name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty”. That day Mary had grasped the good news and foretold humankind of the advent of the Word, the Sun of Justice; the Companion of those who are heavy burdened and of the weary; the Protector of the weak; the Friend of the oppressed; the Sun of righteousness and the Redeemer of humankind from its own inborn evil.
No one knew that this Day of Annunciation would become an eternal, inclusive day, which humankind will remember generation after generation, and that unites humanity in the consensus of its glory.
This Day of the Annunciation has become in Lebanon, more than a decade ago, an inclusive national holiday, around which the Lebanese Levantines gather to prove once again that Lebanon is a message as much as it is a homeland, and it is and will remain, a precinct of the freedom of thought.