Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Now of Mary

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 -- Week of 2 Easter
(The Annunciation of Our Lord, transferred from March 25)

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
Tuesday of Week of 2 Easter (Book of Common Prayer, page 959)
Psalms 5, 6 (morning) 10, 11 (evening)
Exodus 15:1-21
1 Peter 1:13-25
John 14:18-31

Annunciation (p. 997)
Morning Prayer: Psalms 85, 87; Isaiah 52:7-12; Hebrews 2:5-10
Evening Prayer: Psalms 110:1-5(6-7), 132; Wisdom 9:1-12; John 1:9-14

I read the lections for The Annunciation

The song of a bird woke me today. Harbinger of spring. Announcing the light that overcomes the darkness. It is a new day. Everything is fresh. Everything starts again.

There is something important on my calendar today. It's one of those things that was set some time back. I've looked forward to this day for a while. There is special significance to it.

Other days begin without appointment. Nevertheless, each is an incarnation of God.

If God is going to be present to me in my life, God can only be present to me right now, right here, because this is where I am. The past is past. The future isn't yet. The past is always past. It doesn't change. Only its meaning can be reinterpreted -- healed and deepened. The future isn't here yet. But there is something in the anticipation. God who is present in the here and now has promised to be with us, even to the end of the age. God-with-us: Immanuel. God is with us, here and now, in this eternal now.

A bird sings outside my window. Announcing the day. Reminding me that God is here; who wouldn't sing.

In the "Lesser Feasts and Fasts" book that supports the calendar of our special celebrations, the article on The Annunciation reminds us of the importance of Mary's "Yes" to God, her cooperation with the Holy Spirit. "It has been said, 'God made us without us, and redeemed us without us, but cannot save us without us.' Mary's assent to Gabriel's message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. It is for this reason that all generations are to call her 'blessed.'"

Unless we say "Yes" to each present moment, to the Annunciation of God's presence and touch here and now, we move asleep and blind to the light and the song around us.

Comparing Mary to the air we breathe, Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:

Wild air, world-mothering air...
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now,
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve,
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn --



Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117

An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


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