3/25/2020 Lenten Luminaries

Posted on Mar 27, 2020 by
[Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.] (Lk. 1: 38)
It’s funny isn’t it?  Mary agrees to be the mother of God and then the angel Gabriel leaves her.  You’d think that Mary who conceives Jesus in her womb should have more protection from angels rather than less.  Yet, here she acquiesces to God’s will and is seemingly left to her own devices to fulfill.  Yet, Mary was never abandoned.  The angel left her yes, but God was always there to help her along the way as evidenced by the numerous angelic appearances to her husband.  God’s help was also present to her in the visit of the three Wise Men.  They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which no doubt financially supported the poverty stricken couple.
Imagine all the questions Mary must have had for the angel.  She voiced her concern about being unwed, but she must have had countless others.  She finds herself in quite the peculiar situation, and so the questions would have been endless.  How will I support this child?  How exactly am I, a human being, supposed to care for the Son of God?  Why do You want me to do this?
Our situation too, is quite peculiar.  Sin was never a part of God’s plan.  It was an unfortunate consequence of mankind’s  misuse of free will.  So too, disease was never a part of God’s creation.  Because the human race has lived with sin and disease for so long our situation doesn’t seem extraordinary or novel, and yet it is.  Unfortunately the prevalence of sin and disease is our lived reality, and COVID-19 has made us realize it more than ever.  The disease of sin is even more deadly and insidious than the dreaded virus which has turned our world upside down.
We, like Mary, have lots of questions; Why do we sin? Why is this virus allowed to devastate the world?  How will we survive it and put our lives back together?  Why have You deserted us?  As Mary experienced God’s healing and guiding hand, so too will we in the strange situation we find ourselves in.  Whether sin or disease, God is still guiding us.  He has not deserted us.
Today on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, pray for the grace to accept God’s will for your life amidst the situation we find ourselves.  Pray for the grace to trust in God as Mary did.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”