2017 Busy Catholic’s Online Lenten Retreat
Living Lent With Love
Saturday, March 25
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you…. Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High…. But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God; for nothing will be impossible for God.” …Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Pope Francis’s Reflection
Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. Contemplating Mary, we realize that she who praised God for “bringing down the mighty from their thrones” and “sending the rich away empty” is also the one who brings a homely warmth to our pursuit of justice.
(Apostolic Exhortation/The Joy of the Gospel #288)
Let us pray.
Loving God, like Mary, I know you are present with me and that I’m greatly blessed. Like Mary, I’m sometimes also deeply troubled by the way you announce your plans for me and then turn my ordered world upside down. Whatever my life holds of joy or loss, I pray that I may enter each moment and meet every person with a heart of compassion and welcome so startling, bold and countercultural that no one will miss its source: you. May the revolution that is the good news of your love take hold in me. Amen.
Material in this year’s online retreat is excerpted with permission from Living Lent with Love.
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Published by special arrangement with Creative Communications for the Parish