Monday, March 26, 2012

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Lent is often associated with NO: saying “no” to certain luxuries or treats (whether it is sugar, fast food, coffee, or another indulgence), saying “no” to selfishness, and refraining from certain joyful acclamations in the Liturgy. With so much “no,” it sometimes can be hard to recognize where or what we are saying “yes,” to.

I love that the Feast of the Annunciation, the feast of Mary’s “yes” falls during Lent 95% of the time. It is a reminder to me of a “yes” that cries out louder than all that “no”. The Psalm response today, “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will” echoes that total willingness of Mary to say “yes” to whatever it is God is asking of her. It is a “yes” to uncertainty and the unknown struggles that will come.

The words of the Muslim poet Hafiz capture for me the deep peace of Mary’s “yes” and the place I yearn to speak from:

Every Movement by Hafiz
From my mouth

Because it is so plain to my soul

That God has shouted, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
To every luminous movement in Existence.

I rarely let the word "No" escape

It is because God has first said “yes” to me (to my uncertainty, pain, and longing) that I want to answer “yes” to whatever God asks of me. I am not there yet, but for me the Feast of the Annunciation is a reminder to strive for that “yes.” Instead of stressing about what God might ask of me, or if I am getting the message right, I am tying to focus on making it “plain to my soul” that God’s yes is resounding everywhere. I know that if I can focus on God’s yes, that yes from me might flow easier. Today is a refreshing respite in the desert of Lent, and in many ways a renewal of that yes we proclaim with our own Baptism.

“Do not be afraid… for nothing is impossible with God.”
Are there subtle reminders today of God’s YES to me?

reflected by Jen Horan

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