Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent | Chris McCullough
March 25, 2020
The two statements that jump out at me from the Gospel today are “Hail full of Grace” and “How can this be?” The phrase from the first reading that sticks with me is “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!” (Is. 8:10).
These are rich phrases from the story of the Annunciation, when Mary found she was invited to be the mother of Jesus. This story may be resonating with the Corona virus-socially distanced reality we are currently experiencing. In this time “apart” and at this point in our Lenten journey, we may be wondering, like Mary, how can it be that we may be experiencing God’s grace in this moment? How is it that God is with us?
These are central questions to any journey of faith, and we consider them in this time of the Corona virus’ spread. My only response comes out of my own experience. While it is a challenge to manage trying to work from home while keeping reluctant children engaged in some form of learning and fighting the battle of minimizing screen time, I have noticed some benefit from this time. My wife and I are not having to juggle which one of us has to play taxi to our children’s many after school activities. We are in a more sedentary state. We are able to have family meals and have time to be with/cope with one another.
From this time of sequester, I am experiencing the grace and blessing of simply being together as a family. I am noticing the joy of being able to stop and appreciate the individuality and gift of my wife and my children. And as we celebrate the Annunciation today, we commemorate the beginnings of Mary’s very special family. With much faith she accepted her mantle of “Mother of God.” Today, we turn to her as she commiserates with us as we face all of the challenges of family life. She empathizes with us all that, that reality brings to our lives. She also understands those sufferings we endure, as one who watched her son suffer and die a horrible death.
On this day let us focus on the goodness of our families and how “God is with us” in the holiness of this time together. Let us turn to Mary and ask for her intercessions to help us in our journey of caring for and tending to our family’s needs.
Prayer: Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.