March 25th has been kept as the feast of the Annunciation since the 8th century. Exactly nine months before Christmas, it commemorates the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary recounted in Luke chapter 1, in which she learnt that she was to become the mother of Jesus. Luke’s narrative highlights Mary’s surprise and astonishment at the extraordinary vocation she is asked to accept; but she accepts it nonetheless: ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’
None of us could have imagined being in our present situation, with a national lock-down because of coronavirus. It isn’t exactly our vocation, of course! But we are in extraordinary times and we have to respond in the best possible way, trying to care for one another and offer support where we can. Like Mary, we are invited to say ‘yes’, and to accept the challenges we face at this remarkable time.
A prayer for today:
God our Father, you asked your servant Mary to be the mother of your Son Jesus; as she accepted your call, help us to say ‘yes’ to the challenges we face each day. Amen.
You may find the short daily service on the Church of England website (and downloadable onto your mobile or tablet) a good way to focus your thoughts in these difficult times. See:
You might also like to look at the Christ Church, Fairwarp Facebook page, on which Fr John is posting a daily blog – for the time being!