Wednesday of the Fifth WeekThe Annunciation of the Lord
As we continue our journey through the fifth week of Lent, we celebrate today the solemnity of the Annunciation, when Mary speaks for us all in doing the will of God and bringing Jesus into the world. With Holy Week only a few days away, Mary offers us a magnificent model to enable God’s creative power to grow and transform our own lives.
In today’s first reading, we are reminded of God’s Old Testament promise to save His people through the improbable virgin birth of a son Emmanuel, “God who is with us.” The psalm response and second reading from Hebrews reiterate that God seeks not “sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings,” but rather “ears open to obedience” to do God’s will. In the Gospel acclamation, Mary is the model of obedience so that the “Word of God became flesh and made His dwelling among us; and we saw His glory.”
In the heart of the city of Nazareth lies the Basilica of the Annunciation, built near what is considered Mary’s original dwelling, where the angel Gabriel appeared, as recalled in today’s Gospel passage. Despite her natural confusion and bewilderment with this appearance and incomprehensible message, Mary above all trusted in God and responded faithfully with her “yes” leading to the Incarnation and salvation of all humankind through the loving obedience and sacrifice of Jesus.
We regularly pray the “Our Father” and seek the grace for God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” Mary provides a wonderful example to live this prayer to the fullest, and may we respond as faithfully and compassionately in our own opportunities to bring Jesus into the world in perhaps large and especially small, everyday ways.
PrayerOffered by Pope Benedict XVI during his pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Annunciation: “Mary, Mother of the ‘Yes,’ you listened to Jesus, and know the tone of his voice and the beating of his heart. Morning Star, speak to us of Him, and tell us about your journey of following Him on the path of faith.” Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
George Ashline, Professor of Mathematics
ScriptureFirst Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website