Lenten Meditations: Thursday 25 March

Mar 25, 2021 by

Mar 25
am: 131, 132, 133
pm: 140, 142
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10 Hebrews 10:4-10 Luke 1:26-38

FIFTH THURSDAY OF LENTThe Solemnity of the Feast of the Annunciation

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: This feast was established by the ancient church. St. Athanasius of Alexandria in his sermon on this feast names it first and especially honored in the order of feasts, as he recalls the beginning of the economy of the salvation of the people. In the 5th and 6th centuries because of heresies, which humiliate the person of the Mother of God and deform the teaching of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, presented separately, prompted the Church to magnify the celebration of the feast. Ancient Christians had various names for this feast: “Conception of Christ”, “Annunciation about Christ”, “Beginning of Redemption”, and “Annunciation of the Angel to Mary”. But by the 7th century the name as it stands today was universal. According to ancient custom, the tradition of the Church placing this feast on March 25, stands in natural agreement with December 25.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: This feast, which this year falls in the last week of  Lent, on one hand refers us to the beginnings of salvation, and on the other invites us to turn our thoughts toward the power of the paschal mystery. We look at Christ crucified who has redeemed humanity, fulfilling to the end the will of the Father. On Calvary, in his last moments of life, Jesus is left to his mother who brought him into the world. Instead of Joseph as happened at Bethlehem, Mary now has John. She is supported by one human and the God who promised her she would be blessed for all ages.

The Annunciation, as offered in St Luke’s Gospel, is a humble, hidden event — no one saw it, no one except Mary knew of it –, but at the same time it was crucial to the history of salvation. When she said her “yes” to the Angel’s announcement, Jesus was conceived and with him began the new era of history that was to be ratified in Easter as the “new and eternal Covenant”.

Mary, the  Mother of Our Lord received the greatest promise which can be received, and her response was perfect surrender: Let it be unto me according to His will! She did not calculate the cost to her at the beginning nor at the end. Mary’s openness to God was life changing and world changing. So, it would be for us if we truly submitted as she did.

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  We beseech you, O Lord, pour your grace into our hearts, that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE “The Annunciation was not so much a vision as an earthquake in which God moved the universe and unsettled the spheres, and the beginning and end of all things came before her in her deepest heart”. –Thomas Merton  


Lenten DisciplineThere are some special practices today that I know of but at the very least it would be worthwhile today to pray the Magnificat,  the Akathistos Hymn to the Theotokos, the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. While this may not be your spirituality it would serve as a good orientation to the heart of a human who truly said yes to God without reservation.

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