Psalm 36:5–11 Isaiah 42:1–9 Hebrews 9:11–15 John 12:1–11
Come, abide within me; let my soul, like Mary, be thine earthly sanctuary. –Hymn 475, The Hymnal 1982
Today marks the confluence in Lent of three significant events:
– the Feast of the Annunciation, – the Monday of Holy Week, and – a march in Washington, led by the bishop of Washington with the bishops of Connecticut, to stop gun violence in our country.
All these events challenge us to receive God in our bodies, hearts, and souls— and to manifest the presence and power of God in our world today.
They also remind me of St. John’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land last fall, when we visited the site of the Annunciation in Nazareth, walked the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, and witnessed the heart-wrenching struggles of people in conflict trying to live together in one land. My thoughts and emotions about those extraordinary 12 days are complex and profound—and, in the context of my faith, are enduringly positive because:
– a village maiden became the mother of the incarnate God, – the shameful walk to Golgotha became the pathway to heaven, and – hope endures among people who still strive to make the desert bloom.
During Lent—and today especially—please join me in praying that:
– we, like Mary, will say yes to God’s invitation to bear incarnate love, – we, like Jesus, will have the strength to walk our way of the Cross, and – we, like our bishops, will have the courage to be God’s agents in action.