Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Harden Not Your Hearts

Annunciation of the Lord (Mar 25, deferred from Easter Week)

When the Archangel Gabriel came to the Blessed Virgin and announced to her God's plan of salvation, God's plan for her life, and what He wanted her to do, she had two very real options.

On the one hand, she could have said, "Well really, sir, you see I've just gotten engaged to a very good man whom I love a great deal, and I think I'd rather just settle down with him in a much more ordinary sort of life."

But she didn't. She took door number two instead by saying, "Be it done unto me according to thy word," (Lk 1:38). Be it done unto me according to thy word. Implicit in this act of faith is the same sentiment that our Blessed Lord himself cried out from the Cross, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit," (Lk 23:46). The first is a receptive statement of trust. She is willing to receive whatever God wants to give. The second is an oblative statement of trust. He gives all that the Father wants to receive. Each is a statement of trust, trusting that the Father in His mercy will hear their plan and provide for their wellbeing, their heart, their life. Each of them, the Virgin of Virgins and Innocence Himself, had the purity of heart, a heart free of division or admixture, to entrust themselves entirely into the Father's loving hands.

Today, on the solemn Feast of the Annunciation, let's pray God grant us the faith and purity we need, in our various circumstances in life, to receive His will and life and to commend our own into His hands.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

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