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Tuesday, March 25, 2003

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The Annunciation of the Lord

Isaiah 7:10-14
Hebrews 10:4-10
Psalm 40
Luke 1:26-38

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where there's his will, there's the way (see jn 14:6)

"As is written of Me in the book, I have come to do Your will, O God." —Hebrews 10:7

Jesus became a human being to do His Father's will (Heb 10:7, 9). Jesus said: "Doing the will of Him Who sent Me...is My food" (Jn 4:34). By Jesus doing the Father's will and not His own will (Mt 26:39), "we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10).

We, disciples of the incarnate, crucified Jesus, imitate Him and seek to do not our wills but His will. To do God's will is radical, total, and continual. To do His will is not merely an occasional denial of self but a total, definitive dying to self (see Jn 12:24). When Mary, at the Incarnation, did God's will, she called herself literally a "slave of the Lord" (Lk 1:38, our transl). To do God's will meant to appear to be an adulteress. This put her  engagement to Joseph in jeopardy and her life as well. When Jesus did God's will, He suffered on the cross and screamed: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mk 15:34) To do God's will is a fearful, bewildering entry into the mystery of God's crucified love.

The Lord taught us to pray that His will would be done on earth as it is heaven (Mt 6:10). On this rare Lenten feast day, pray that you will do God's will — by His standards.

Prayer:  Father, teach me Your meaning of the word "will."

Promise:  "Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!" —Is 7:11

Praise:  David accepted his mother's death as God's will for them both.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002