Do Not Be Afraid, Mary

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Reflection)

God first manifested himself to the Jewish people by appearing as a cloud. As this cloud, he guided them through the desert to freedom, he spoke to them, and he descended to overshadow the tent of meeting in order to be present among his chosen people. "Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling. Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling" (Ex 40:34-35). If Moses had entered the tent, the power of the Most High would have obliterated him. But now the angel told Mary that this same glory would overshadow her! No wonder the angel told her not to be afraid. Do we tremble when we approach the altar? That same glorious power of the Most High takes up residence within our flesh when we receive Holy Communion. God no longer descends in the form of a cloud; he approaches under the appearance of a morsel of bread. Mary is the new tent of meeting, and her simple "Yes" made it possible that God would one day make a tabernacle of each of us. If we receive him without fear, does it mean that the angel has reassured us?

Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38
Suzanne M. Lewis

Father, Most high, the favor you have shown us makes us
tremble with gratitude and awe. We beg you, through the
intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to make us worthy to
receive you with hearts like Mary's.

Today's suggested penance: Pray with special devotion to your patron saint(s).