Could This Be The Season of “Annunciation?”

Annunciation of the LordIt takes only a couple of minutes to read Luke’s version of the Annunciation found in Chapter 1 verses 36-38.

Sometimes we tend to think that’s how long it took. Mary is praying, at least that is how most pictures indicate, and Gabriel appears. The angel greets Mary, outlines the plan, and maybe Mary asks a couple of questions. Then, Gabriel tells her not to worry and disappears – and off to Elizabeth’s house Mary goes.

But how could it have really happened all so quickly? Think about it.

A young girl suddenly finds herself pregnant. She must be confused and terrified. She has to face her fiancé and family. Her world was turned upside down. She faces ostracism, rejection – and, by the letter of the law, even worse.

With the help of Gabriel, Mary tries to make sense of what is about to happen. The questions and doubts may have come over time. Gabriel becomes the sacred presence that enables her faith to develop, her trust to solidify, and what has taken place to become clear. The Annunciation may very well have taken place over hours, days, possibly even weeks. It may have included a painful confrontation with Joseph and the wise counsel of her own parents and Elizabeth. But God is with her to work it all out. The Holy Spirit is present to her to help her and Joseph transform this catastrophe into life, this scandal into grace.

And in the end, Mary gives her ascent. “May it be done to me according to your word!” With trust in God’s promise and faith in God’s love, Mary becomes what the Eastern Church calls the “Theotokos” – the “bearer of God.”

Mary’s experience mirrors our own. Discerning God’s will in our life demands time and thoughtfulness. In God’s “annunciations” to us, we have a great deal to process, to sort out, and to make sense of. Today’s Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – nine months before Christmas – it really the perfect Marian feast for Lent. In the midst of our Lenten journey, we, like Mary, need to be especially open to the presence of “Gabriel” announcing to us that the Lord is with us, that we have nothing to fear, that we have been called by God to bring Christ into our own time and place. We, like Mary, are called to be the “bearer of God” to the world today. Are we willing to draw strength from the witness of her life and say, “May it be done to me according to your word?”

Question – Did I catch you off guard blogging on Tuesday rather than Wednesday? With this being in the other “Solemnity” during Lent, I thought it would be better to write today. So, the question to ponder is this, “In what ways are you bearing God to the world that encounters you each day?”

March 25th, 2014 |