Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 25 March - The Annunciation of the Lord
‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary, ‘let what you have said be done to me.’
Mary focused on what God wanted of her, not on her own concerns.
Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium, published in 2013:
‘’Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.
“God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless.
‘’That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.’’
Finding joy through love
Pope Francis delights in reminding us often that the love of God brings us joy. We can be deceived into thinking that following the will of God is somehow a denial of good things.
But God’s greatest gift – his own son – was given to us through Mary’s “yes” to God’s will.
God’s will does not mean that we are going to feel deprived. In fact, it is the way to a full and dignified life.
Do I fill my life with my own interests and concerns? Is there room in my heart for others; a place in my heart for the poor?
Mary, the angel brought you joyful news for all the world: that you would give birth to Jesus. Pray for me to find joy in carrying out the tasks that God has given me and to support others so that they too may live a dignified and full life. Amen.
On this feast of Our Lady, spend two minutes watching our ‘Queen of all creation’ meditation, with beautiful words by Pope Francis from his encyclical Laudato Sí':