It has been a difficult winter with two life changing events occurring in the family. One family member losing a battle with cancer and another spending a week in ICU. And then the rise of the coronavirus in America causing much suffering, fear and anxiety.
Now in the fourth week of our Lenten season of fasting and penance a ray of light and hope suddenly appears in the midst of it all with the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25th! A sudden reminder of how God came to be with us as foretold in Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son: and his name will be called Emmanuel (God with us)”. Jesus Christ true God and true man. The one that we truly need now.
God assured Mary of His grace that night as He does for us now. Read the beautiful Meditation by Word Among Us for March 25th below.
TODAY’S MEDITATION: LUKE 1:26-38
Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:28)
Why do you think the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with these words? Perhaps because he wanted Mary to know that God had already filled her with all the grace she would need to say yes to bearing God’s Son into the world. Maybe he also wanted to reassure her: she could count on God always being with her, not just in that blessed moment.
Mary might not have had much time to reflect on the angel’s greetings until later, after she had said yes to God’s plan. But as the baby grew in her womb, she probably thought about it often. She knew that what God was asking of her wasn’t going to be easy. No doubt this was a special child. How was she going to raise Jesus to be a king and sit on the throne of David, as the angel had said? (Luke 1:32-33). When such questions swirled in her mind, she could always go back and recall the angel’s words: God was with her, and so was his grace.
When has the Lord asked you to do something difficult? Maybe you were given a special needs child to raise or you are caring for an ailing spouse or parent or you’re trying to work through tensions in your marriage. We all are faced with situations in which God is asking us to do what seems beyond us. We may have to say yes to the Lord not once but many times as we struggle to be obedient to his plan for our lives.
But what the angel said to Mary is also true of us. Mary was born without original sin, but because of our baptism, we are also filled with God’s grace. He dwells in us. That means he is always with us and that his grace is always available to us.
When Mary said yes to the angel, Jesus came into the world to save us and share his divine life with us. Now we can move forward, day by day and one step at a time, to do what God is asking of us—because we too are “full of grace” (Luke 1:28)!
“Lord, thank you for giving me the grace to say yes to whatever is your will for me.”
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10