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March 25, 2022

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Lk 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

How Can Mary Direct You?

Did Mary help to direct St. Ignatius of Loyola? Absolutely. Biblical scholar and theologian Luke Timothy Johnson indicates that St. Luke’s focus on Mary has influenced Marian piety, and it certainly has for me.  

Mary asks a simple clarifying question and then enthusiastically commits. She is a model for how to navigate God’s work in our daily lives, something Ignatius was desperately trying to do when he reached Montserrat, where he laid down his sword and refocused his life. What did he see in Mary? Was it the power of her “yes”? Maybe in his prayer he noticed her steadfastness, and maybe her actions gave him the clarity he needed in his discipleship.  

After Montserrat, when Ignatius was struggling with depression, I like to think he read this passage and remembered his time in front of the statue of the Madonna and Child at Montserrat and remembered God’s love and the angel saying, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Lk 1:37)  

How can Mary help to direct you? 

Brendan O’Kane is the Director of Ignatian Mission and Identity at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, MD.

 

Prayer 

Loving God, 

The angel said nothing is impossible with you, I trust that is true
Help me to better understand the “with” part of that statement
Guide me to better love You and neighbor
Inspire me to also love myself
Your mother has shown us what it means to co-labor with You
Today may my “yes” have weight, and reflect on how Mary’s changed the world
The angel said nothing is impossible with you, I know that is true. 

Amen 

—Brendan O’Kane


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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March 25, 2022

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Lk 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

How Can Mary Direct You?

Did Mary help to direct St. Ignatius of Loyola? Absolutely. Biblical scholar and theologian Luke Timothy Johnson indicates that St. Luke’s focus on Mary has influenced Marian piety, and it certainly has for me.  

Mary asks a simple clarifying question and then enthusiastically commits. She is a model for how to navigate God’s work in our daily lives, something Ignatius was desperately trying to do when he reached Montserrat, where he laid down his sword and refocused his life. What did he see in Mary? Was it the power of her “yes”? Maybe in his prayer he noticed her steadfastness, and maybe her actions gave him the clarity he needed in his discipleship.  

After Montserrat, when Ignatius was struggling with depression, I like to think he read this passage and remembered his time in front of the statue of the Madonna and Child at Montserrat and remembered God’s love and the angel saying, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Lk 1:37)  

How can Mary help to direct you? 

Brendan O’Kane is the Director of Ignatian Mission and Identity at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, MD.

 

Prayer 

Loving God, 

The angel said nothing is impossible with you, I trust that is true
Help me to better understand the “with” part of that statement
Guide me to better love You and neighbor
Inspire me to also love myself
Your mother has shown us what it means to co-labor with You
Today may my “yes” have weight, and reflect on how Mary’s changed the world
The angel said nothing is impossible with you, I know that is true. 

Amen 

—Brendan O’Kane


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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