The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for March 25, 2023 View another date

Meditation: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10

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The Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)

Entrance Antiphon

The Lord said, as he entered the world:
Behold, I come to do your will, O God. Heb 10:5, 7

Gloria

(When it is prescribed, this hymn is either said or sung:)

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we...

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Daily Meditation: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10

I will not tempt the Lord! (Isaiah 7:12)

In today’s first reading, King Ahaz is being offered something that he might not want: a victory that comes not from fighting but from waiting. Commissioned by God, the prophet Isaiah has given him an unexpected set of directions about a dangerous military threat: sit tight and wait for God to act. Don’t be afraid. In fact, don’t do anything! (Isaiah 7:4, 7-9). But with enemies gathering on his northern border, Ahaz is scared. How can he stand by as his kingdom teeters on the edge of such a precipice?

When God tries to bolster his faith—Ask me for a sign, any sign!—Ahaz refuses. But he does so in words that sound so very humble: “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!” (Isaiah 7:12). It’s more likely that this pious protest is really a cover for stubbornness. Ahaz insists on going his own way, ignoring the word from Isaiah and pursuing foreign alliances instead—and with unfortunate consequences. By rejecting the offer of a sign, Ahaz is also rejecting God’s direction.

On this feast of the Annunciation, it’s interesting to compare Ahaz’ response to Mary’s. Unlike Ahaz, Mary is ready to trust and wait on God’s every word. No crippling fears, no stubborn agenda, no false humility. When Gabriel reveals God’s plan to her, Mary has no thought of refusing. Rather, she wants to cooperate! Her puzzled question “How can this be?” is not a protest but a way of seeking guidance about how to proceed (Luke 1:34).

Few of us will face decisions as momentous as the ones Mary and Ahaz confronted. But we do face choices every day. How important it is to get into the habit of telling God, “Thy will be done” with little daily decisions. Then, when faced with the bigger ones, we will find it that much easier to trust and obey our faithful God—just as Mary did!

“Jesus, give me the grace to be like your mother, ready to trust you in all situations.”

Psalm 40:7-11
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38

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