Lenten Meditation: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the Angel departed from her. - Luke 1:38
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, a regularly scheduled break in our usual Lenten programming. In my first year as a priest, I asked one of my clergy colleagues, “How is today the feast of the Annunciation?!” He gently answered, “Because it is nine months before Christmas.” (He has my eternal gratitude.)
Every Advent and Christmastide, I appreciate how much this small part of Jesus’ story encapsulates the whole message of the Gospels– “Do not be afraid.” “Of his kingdom there will be no end.” “Nothing is impossible with God.” How much more poignant are those words as we draw nearer and nearer to the cross? Do not be afraid. Of his kingdom there will be no end. Nothing is impossible with God. Those words become much more powerful, and much more challenging, with Golgotha in our sights.
In these last weeks of Lent, perhaps Mary’s words can be our guide. Her response to Gabriel’s stunning announcement are her own stunning words of incredible openness: “Here am I.” Here am I. Here am I, God’s servant, open to the Spirit, waiting on God’s promises, ready for whatever is next. Here am I, radically available to God. We don’t get to know much of anything at all about Mary’s interior life, her hopes and plans–but she had them, and relinquished them in an instant. What does radical availability look like in our own lives, our own contexts? How do we respond to God’s call?
Today: Has God’s call ever interrupted your own plans? Share that story with someone today.