"Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God." —Isaiah 7:11
Throughout this Lenten season, the Lord promises abundant, resurrected, eternal life. Do we believe Him? Will we let the Holy Spirit of Easter and Pentecost come upon us? (Lk 1:35) Will we let the power of the Most High overshadow us? (Lk 1:35) Will we say with Mary, "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say"? (Lk 1:38)
We need a sign to strengthen our faith. Gabriel announced the sign to Mary that Elizabeth in her old age had conceived a son (Lk 1:36). "The Lord spoke to Ahaz: ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be as deep as the nether world, or as high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask!' " (Is 7:10-12) May we not be closed as Ahaz but be open to the sign of signs. "The Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and He shall be called Immanuel" (Is 7:14).
May the Annunciation be a Lenten sign that Easter and Pentecost are not merely holidays but realities. When God became man and was conceived in the womb of Mary, it was and is a sign that God loves us infinitely, we have nothing to fear, the future is glorious, and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rm 8:35).
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for becoming a man. Mary, pray for me to say "yes" as you did.
Promise: "By this 'will,' we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb 10:10
Praise: Mary's role in salvation history is prefigured in the Hebrew Scriptures. "Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth" (see Jdt 13:18).
Reference: (Are you looking for a Spirit-filled retreat? Life Style in the Holy Spirit is the topic of the April 17-19 retreat at our Retreat Center in Adams Co, Ohio. To register or for more information call 513-373-2397 or 937-587-5464 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019
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