REFLECTION FOR 3RD SUNDAY IN LENT (YEAR C), Week beginning 20 MARCH 2022
On Friday of the coming week, March 25th, we have the great solemn feast of the Annunciation of the Lord – the visit of the Angel Gabriel to young Mary of Nazareth – the great News that she had been specially chosen by God, to give birth to His Only Begotten Son. God becoming human for our salvation & redemption is the greatest event ever to happen in human history. Its formal title is the Incarnation.
This year, this great feast occurs on the 24th day of Lent. So, we can see that it is just past the midpoint of this Holy Season of grace.
Undoubtedly, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a negative effect on the 1st half of Lent 2022 – that there could be a war in Europe, 77 years after the end of World War 2, is surely beyond belief and beyond expectations. It has clearly displaced the pandemic as the number one news item – not that the end of the pandemic has come yet, of course.
Yet, we cannot allow the invasion (or the pandemic!) to deflect us in spiritual terms, as we approach the midpoint of Lent.
The great solemn feast of the Incarnation (March 25th) can be used to orientate us spiritually for the 2nd half of Lent.
On that great feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, Pope Francis intends to mark the day with the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the day, not everyone will be able to attend Mass, of course. As an alternative, everyone can commit to praying the first Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, for such is the Annunciation of the Lord. The primary intention of the prayer would be the dual intention: an end to the war & to the pandemic. Even better still, turn it into the praying of the other 4 Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary – all of which feature Our Blessed Lady.