Archive for March 23rd, 2019

Pieta | FOR YOU | image tagged in virgin | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

The Prayer of the Day

O Lord, as we have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ by the message of the angel to the Virgin Mary, so by the message of His cross and passion bring us to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The Old Testament Reading for the Day: Isaiah 7:10-14   Psalm 45: 7-17   The Epistle Reading:  Hebrews 10: 4-10 The Gospel Reading for the Day: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation of Our Lord:  The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that God has shown her favor and will use her as the means for the Messiah’s birth. So Mary conceives Jesus when the angel says: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). This same Spirit who hovered over the waters and brought forth creation (Genesis 1:2) will now “hover over” the waters of Mary’s womb to conceive the creation’s Redeemer. As the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary, she conceives Jesus “through her ear” (as Martin Luther says). The one who is conceived is called Holy, the Son of God. This is the moment of the incarnation of our Lord. The date of the Annunciation falls on March 25, because the Ancient Church believed the crucifixion occurred on that date. In antiquity, people linked the day of a person’s conception with the day of his or her death. Thus, in the Annunciation, the Church joined together both the incarnation of Jesus and the atonement He accomplished. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

There have been two excellent dramas on television as of late:  The Crown, about the life of Queen Elizabeth II and Victoria, about the life of Queen Victoria.  They were both young women who were unlikely to become Queen and rose to their vocation with nobility. Even more unlikely that a virgin  bore the Son of God and she did rise to her divine vocation with nobility as well.  All three of these women are not “shop till you drop” consumers, nor feminist distortions of womanhood as anti-womb and anti-man:  just the opposite.  They were  strong women not women aping men.  They knew their vocations took precedent over their personal feelings on the matter. Let it be to me according to Thy Word.  

I probably should not  like encouragement from the culture, but despite the times we are in, someone has discovered in Elizabeth and Victoria  as womanhood as it actually is: both were mothers, ruled their nation and at the same time, obeyed their husbands.  Mary is the model bar none of womanhood.  Only a woman can bear a child and have the strength to do so and so nurture a child.   She was faithful. We need to hear more of Mary than we do Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.–We’ve been inundated with reports about Cortez’s anti-life political policies. She does not shy away from the glaring spot light of our decadent and immoral culture. Mary did not want the spot-light. Mary stood in the light of the Lord. The world’s spot-light is for idolatry alone. The Lord’s light is to show us the darkness of sin and evil and idolatries, and then the pure light of His atonement. His atonement is for our forgiveness. If we look at this blog a few years down the line, we hope it will be with a sigh, “remember Cortez”, but we will still be thanking the Lord for His Mother. And if dear reader, you don’t know who Cortez is, be glad!  If you do know who she is, a thought: Be ever more glad, though, that Mary heard the Gloria of the Annunciation so we can as well.

In exactly nine months from today, March 25th, will be Christmas.  On this day the Church rejoices that the angel Gabriel gave the announcement (and so, annunciation) to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a Child:  the Son of God.  When Gabriel announced this, Mary responded, Let it be according to your word.  So the Annunciation is the Incarnation: The Word became flesh.  The Feast of the Annunciation is always in Lent.  His birth is our death, our death to sin.  His resurrection is our life, our life in Him. There is more than one annunciation. We will hear the annunciation from the Cross, from the Lord’s mouth:  It is finished.   We will hear again the glad announcement, even more wondrous than the first to Mary:  He is risen!  We need to hear the Annunciation of the Promises of God fulfilled in His Son Jesus daily!  As Mary we need to hear the announcement of our forgiveness and His mercy toward poor sinners.  We need to hear the “for you” of  His Word especially in the Holy Communion, Absolution reminding us of our Baptism.  Others need to hear this Annunciation as well, dying to hear it. We will  hear the last Annunciation:  He comes again! In the midst of death, there is life (Luther).  

“Mary laid in a manger Him who sits above the cherubim and is praised by myriads of angels. In the manger set apart for irrational animals, the Word of God lay, in order that He might impart to men, who are really irrational by free choice, the true reason and understanding. In the manger from which cattle eat was laid the heavenly Bread, in order that He might provide men who live like the beasts of the earth with spiritual food.”St. Gregory Thaumaturgus  (died circa A.D. 270-275)

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