How Can This Be?: Weekly Message for 3-21-17

Dear Friends in Christ,

This Saturday a little bit of Christmas will sneak into Lent exactly nine months early. We’ll celebrate the solemnity of the Annunciation, also known as the solemnity of the Incarnation. It’s the moment when Mary receives the invitation to become the Mother of God, accepts, and the Word becomes flesh in her womb.

When the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she is going to become the mother of the Messiah, she responds with amazement at the fact that she is going to become a mother at all: “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34). There are many Church Fathers who interpreted this passage to mean that Mary never planned to get married at all: she had decided to dedicate herself to the love of God above all else, which would have made Gabriel’s announcement to her even more amazing.

When we open our hearts in prayer to the fact that the Lord may have plans for us, plans beyond our expectations, we too may respond “How can this be?” Wonder is a healthy attitude when it comes to the will of God not just in general, but for me. We have to listen, not be shy about asking him questions, and respond with a generous heart that seeks to do his will, just as Mary did.

Lent is an opportunity for more prayer, and prayer is the best time for listening to what Our Lord has to say to us. Why not spend some time with Mary speaking to Our Lord? The retreat guide Welcoming the Word: A Retreat Guide on the Annunciation is a good resource to help you re-connect with the wonder of God again.

May God never cease to amaze you.

Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
author, Finding the Plug

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