Daily Reflection
March 25th, 2006

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Psalm 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38

I’m imagining her as an older, modern woman – gray haired, wearing slacks and a sweater, calm, wise and compassionate. Over coffee she’s explaining how she has survived her life.

It started the day that an angel turned her life upside down and asked her to say yes to having God’s child – a terrifying decision, nothing like the ecstatic Renaissance paintings depict it.

She knew people would gossip that she was either a liar or a nut case. Just picture what the ladies at her synagogue had to say about THAT explanation. At least Joe believed her after HE got the word from an angel – what a sweetheart!

Maybe it was good that the Romans ordered them out of town for the census before the baby was born but she can still remember every bump on that donkey ride. Bethlehem looked pretty good until they found out that all the motels were full. The stable was dirty and it smelled. What a place to have your first child. (Reality check for city folks: visit a working barn some day.)

And her tales went on – the flight to Egypt with a baby followed by the hardships of living in a foreign country. She can really identify with today’s immigrants. Then there was the time her 12 year old kid decided to disappear for three days during a trip just so he could show the elders in the Temple how smart He was. Junior high!!!

She had to be tough to raise Him and stand up to Him on occasion like she did at Cana. Of course she was there when the going was roughest and His friends deserted him. Suddenly she was the mother of a felon dying a horrible death.

Mary. For years I’ve ignored you because I was force-fed a syrupy Marian piety as a child – having to give up recess in October to say the rosary, march through town in May procession etc. Until today’s readings, I’ve never thought about you as a real woman – smart, tough and loving – who made many hard choices to say “yes.” No wonder generations have called you “blessed!”

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