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Note: We can pray with the liturgical readings of the day, even if we can’t attend Mass during the pandemic. Sharon Krause continues to offer her reflections to inspire our prayer.
 
“Breaking news!” Accompanied by some special music, the news on television is often interrupted by a breaking news update, and it is usually not good news. The interruption is meant to get the viewers’ attention, but after a while, viewers can become almost unresponsive to the momentary lure.
 
If we want really good news that is worthy of attention no matter how many times we have heard it, we can look at the Gospel reading for the liturgy today (Luke 1:26-38), the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. This is not just “breaking news,” but more like “Jesus breaking into our lives news!” Our response includes hope, gratitude, and great joy!
 
Mary offers her pure body, her womb, to mother the sacrificial Victim that will establish a new order and life-saving accessibility to God. As with many news announcements, there are a number of details unavailable to Mary in the beginning. Mary, as young as she is, trusts God’s plan, although she does not understand it. There are no reservations in her response, just, “May it be done to me according to your word” (v. 38). Mary’s body would nourish her child; she would carry and protect him. No doubt, Mary would pray for his well-being and her own throughout the nine months until his birth.
 
Nine months from today, we will celebrate Christmas. What can I do to help Jesus’ message grow in me all that time? What can I do to nurture my discipleship so that I can better offer myself to do God’s will? Even if I am tempted to feel that, with my shortcomings and sinfulness, I am occasionally “bad news,” I remember that nothing is impossible for God. We read in the Letter to the Hebrews (10:10), “we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Every day there is an invitation to respond: to savor and carry Jesus to others.
 
Some parents who are awaiting a birth read to the child even before delivery. When the child is born, it appears that it recognizes their voices when it hears them again. In these three trimesters, as we await the celebration of the saving fruition of the Annunciation, reading and praying with Scripture passages, God’s Word, can help us to recognize God’s voice again and offer us a kind of rebirth.
 
Once a child is born, parents send out birth announcements. None of us has to wait
to start announcing with words and witnessing about the salvation, truth, and kindness of the Lord (Psalm 40:7-8a,8b-9,10,11). With joy, along with Mary, “we shall name him Jesus.” (Luke 1:31).
 
Sweet Virgin, Mary, thank you for giving yourself over totally to our Father’s loving will.
Pray for us as we strive to share your Son, our Savior, with others.
 
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, CT. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.

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