On this most blessed of Feast Days, my two youngest children and I walked into the pediatrician's office for a quick check up and were surprised when he asked them if they knew what feast day it was today. (They didn't know, much to my embarrassment!) So a big thank you to Dr. Swietlik for the quick religion lesson! How blessed our family is to have a doctor who combines medicine with faith!
I've been blessedly busy these days with my new role in the lay organization Roses for Our Lady. It's been a wonderfully challenging opportunity for me, but it leaves little time for writing or reading blogs, much to my dismay. So, I hope that you will enjoy this re-post for the Feast of the Annunciation. It's one of my favorites and I hope that it will become one of your favorites as well!
Angels of Annunciation
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God”…Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1: 26-38
We all have annunciation moments, but unfortunately, we are often unaware of exactly what is happening to us. Sometimes in our busyness we become so preoccupied with ourselves and our own needs that we fail to recognize those angels when they come to us.
In my job as a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Nutritionist, I have found that the angels of annunciation come to me nearly constantly, but I can be so focused on what I have to do after work, or some problem with my children that nags at the back of my mind, or my own level of fatigue from lack of sleep, that I can let those angels in and out of my office all day long without realizing who they are. What a shame!
But when I open my heart and open my eyes, I see that angels of annunciation are plentiful. God is trying to speak to me through them all day, every day, and when I recognize them, I can’t help but be changed by their message.
I recently met an angel who was a drug addict suffering from the horrific pains of withdrawal. Instead of sitting in my usual seat of judgment, I opened my heart to recognize that the message she was telling me was “Do not be afraid, God is calling you to see through my addiction, to find Jesus inside me. Jesus suffered terribly and now I am suffering as well. Are you open to helping me? It is you that God is calling, you are the favored one.” So I listened to her story, with tears in my eyes and I was able to offer her comfort and assistance. I became the handmaid of the Lord.
I also met an angel who was a student working through her dietetic internship requirements for graduation. Instead of rushing through my usual day trying to get my job done, I opened my heart to recognize the message that she was telling me was “Do not be afraid, God is calling you to see that you were once in my shoes. Are you open to helping me? It is you that God is calling, you are the favored one.” So I slowed down from my busy agenda and found the patience to teach her the steps required to give nutrition counseling to young mothers in need. I became the handmaid of the Lord.
One of my favorite angels was a two-year-old girl going through the negative stages through which every two-year-old must pass. Instead of becoming irritated by her temper tantrums and constant use of the word “NO”, I opened my heart to recognize the message that she was telling me was “Do not be afraid, God is calling you to offer me kindness, to remember that it is the little ones such as these to whom Jesus offered the Kingdom of God. Are you open to helping me? It is you that God is calling, you are the favored one.” So I turned to her with a smile. I offered her a book, a compliment and a pat on the head. She walked out of my office with a smile on her face, calling out “I love you!” “I love you, too!” I called back. I became the handmaid of the Lord.
God’s angels of annunciation are coming to you as well. They are in every person that crosses your path. Will you be open to their messages? Will you hear them say “Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God?" Will you feel God’s Spirit coming to you and allow yourself to be open to it? Say yes! Become the handmaid of the Lord and watch the world transform into a beautiful place!
Happy Feast of the Annunciation!
a re-post from 6/09, 3/10 and also found on Catholicmom.com