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Faith Daily | 25 March 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 486


Lord God, our Redeemer,

who heard the cry of your people

and sent your servant Moses to lead them out of slavery:

free us from the tyranny of sin and death

and, by the leading of your Spirit,

bring us to our promised land;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen


GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 1: 26-38


26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’*29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’*35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born* will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then 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.



GOSPEL REFLECTION: Jane Markotsis


This passage is called ‘The Annunciation’ because it brings us the announcement of the birth of Jesus to Mary. On liturgical calendars the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is always March 25th, nine months before the celebration of the birth of Jesus.


So, what do we know about Mary? She is a maiden, a virgin, and pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. Betrothal was more binding than our modern understanding of being engaged, and the marriage was likely arranged by the parents when Mary was quite young.


But even though she was young and already betrothed to Joseph, when the archangel Gabriel appeared to her Mary didn’t question why she was chosen to be the virgin mother of the Messiah, nor did she ask why she should. Mary simply asks, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” The issue isn’t whether it will be, and she accepts that. Her question is how. Mary had such faith.


God has a plan for all of us. By this I don’t mean that God wants us to be or do anything as dramatic as that which was asked of Mary, but in the big scheme of things his request may be just as significant to our own lives or the lives of others. All we need to do is say ‘Yes!’


How do we say ‘yes’ to God? As previously mentioned in my last Faith Daily submission, I often use acronyms to help me remember things. So, I have another for you to consider. Y. E. S.


The Y is for Yielded. To yield is to give way or submit. Living as people of faith in God’s Kingdom means that God always has right of way in our lives. To yield means to meet God on his terms, giving him priority in our decision-making processes. Mary is a beautiful example of a yielded soul.


The E is for Expectant. Just like Mary did, we need to lean into the word of God. Mary was expecting even before she was ‘expecting’. This is the posture of our faith as we lean toward heaven expecting God to speak, act and guide. This means a certain pliability in our own expectations which can sometimes be hard.


The S is for Stillness. I am currently reading a book by shame and authenticity researcher, Brené Brown, called ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, and she writes, “Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating an emotional clearing to allow ourselves to feel, think, dream and question.” In our stillness do we allow ourselves to interact with God? Feel him, think on him, dream about an eternal life in his Kingdom, and question our purpose for him? Stillness is our opportunity to truly hear God.


Just like Mary, God is with us. It all starts with a holy ‘YES!’


FINAL PRAYER:


God of goodness,

God of surprises,

send angels of inspiration

to guide and enlighten as you did Mary.

Awaken us again to our true calling,

our true mission:

to walk with you on the paths laid out to us.

Teach us to listen for you in every corner of our lives

and to await your messengers in the most

unexpected situations and conditions.

We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen

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