The Incarnation, a Lenten focus.

Tzanfournaris_Emmanuel_-_The_Annunciation_-_Google_Art_ProjectDuring the course of the Great Fast we are asked again and again, by the Church to consider our brokeness, misery, and estrangement from the Lord. It is a time where we fast, we pray, and do good works, offering both body and soul to the Lord, seeking His forgiveness, reconciliation, and  healing.

The temptation is that we despair of God’s mercy in these labours. But these labours are not to re-enforce the image of  God as some distant judge who demands that we suffer through the work of fasting, prayer, and good works. but rather that they renew our image as created in the “image after our likeness”(Gen.1:26) of God

The feast of the Annunciation, the incarnation of the Lord himself, brings this into full focus as one of the hymns of the feast show.

“Let it be to me  (the Mother of God) according to your word, and I shall bear Him Who is without flesh! He shall borrow flesh from me, that through this mingling He may lead mankind up to its ancient glory, for He alone has power so to do.”  (Stichera of the Vespers of the Annunciation).

When we fast, pray, and offer our good work, let the “Yes” of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary to the angel Gabriel’s annunciation (Lk.1:38) be our “Yes”. And by it be assured that the God who “emptied himself taking the form of a servant” (Ph. 2:7), has come to lead each of us to our intended glory with Him on that glorious day of the Resurrection.

May the Lord strengthen this focus.