25 March 2020
The Annunciation of the Lord
For those of you who are counting, we have 9 months of shopping before Christmas. Although the timing of the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord is clearly aligned to the traditional celebration of Jesus’ birth, it is fortunate in many ways that this feast usually occurs during the season of Lent. In the midst of this time of prayer, fasting, and works of mercy, but also of fear and uncertainty, we are reminded of the promise of the Messiah’s coming. We may feel oppress and burdensome under the grip of a virus, but it does not have to be a time of darkness for us. We need not live in sorrow and emptiness, for we know that our Savior will return.
Mary portrays this most clearly for us. Although surprised by the angel’s announcement, she welcomed and embraced it. Her pregnancy and delivery must have been anything but simple, given the circumstances. Yet she rejoiced in her role as God-bearer, mother of the Savior. Knowing that she was bringing the Son of God into the world, she found the strength not only to tolerate and survive the experience but, in fact, to celebrate it as well.
Our current experience can be a parallel to Mary’s role. Her life was changed by the message of the angel; our lives are changed by circumstances beyond our control. Mary brought the long-awaited Messiah into the world; we pass on the good news of the Gospel through our living faithfully our Christian lives. So, let us find joy in our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving of Lent and in our “stay at home” status just as Mary took joy in the announcement of the angel Gabriel. By accepting and welcoming God’s call to repent, change our lives and live in hope, we join her in rejoicing over God’s presence in our world. In our own Lenten observances, we pave the way for the return of our Savior this year and every year.
Let us Pray,
O God, who willed that your Word
should take on the reality of human flesh
in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray,
that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.