“The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a woman engaged to a man named Joseph. Her name was Mary.” You know the story but likely you do not know that according to the Church Liturgical Calendar March 24th celebrates what is historically called, The Annunciation of our Lord.
During Lent seems right to remember the moment that the angel came to Mary and said, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God and you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will call him Jesus.” Recalling the beginning of Jesus’ life as we prepare to remember his suffering and the cross is profound during the global pandemic causing such catastrophic suffering and death.
Jesus’ life and teachings have accompanied humankind through two millennia of plagues, wars, genocide, disease, and natural catastrophes. Human sin and natural disasters cause much suffering and fear.
Notice that almost every time an angel appears in the bible, those celestial messengers say, “Do not be afraid.”
I call upon the angels to come and bear this message to you:
Stay home if you are elderly or physically compromised.
The bishop closed the church to make a clear and important statement, every life is valuable. It is difficult time in many ways. My contacts with friends, neighbors and parishioners reveal how challenging it is to stay home. Please be patient. If you need groceries, there are people ready and willing to help. WE want to be bothered. We can make it through this if we row together and rely on each other.
During this down time, trust like Mary pregnant with our Lord, that something wonderful can come through a confusing and bewildering experience. Trust God is with you, allow the time to become creative, be bold reaching out to each other trusting that God loves to bring good news from things that are sad, difficult and bring grief. There is nothing more creative than the Spirit of God. Let yourself find new creative ways to reach out and create hope, love, and faith!
With you on the journey,