Date: March 25
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/YearABC_RCL/HolyDays/Annunc_RCL.html
Contributor: Fr. Randy Johnson
I Can’t Do It By Myself!
I entered the kitchen to see our 3-year old granddaughter Ramona attempting to pour orange juice from a half-gallon container into a small juice glass—all while balancing perilously on top of a tall kitchen stool! Exciting stuff! I flew across the room just in time to catch her near face-plant dive from her perch and rescuing the splashing jug fluid from almost certain destruction. The glass she was attempting to fill remained upright—but it was filled to overflowing several times over! There was no more room for any further filling.
“Papa…I can do it by myself!” Ramona emphatically exclaimed! Well, she may believe she can, but in reality our wisdom learned of experience speaks to our truthfulness more than the pure exuberance of youth…
In the recent years, it seems as though we are mired up to our axles in the mucky, gritty grime of one devastatingly tragic event after another. We cannot seem to catch a break from the continual piling on of anxiety, fear, and worries for ourselves, our neighbors, and the world. Compassion fatigue is rampant. Our “cups of compassion” are filled beyond capacity and overflowing. Our “generosity of spirit” is besieged, leaving us beleaguered and broken. We are at a place of reckoning, with the unblinking stare of reality glaring into our hearts. “I can do this by myself!” is truly a false hope, and in many ways a false God.
The opening Collect for today, The Feast of The Annunciation, is a most marvelous statement;
“Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
Pour grace into our hearts, O Lord. But, in order to do so, we must off-pour the accumulating “stuff” that we have already absorbed and gathered into our vessel of human hood—to make room for the overflowing gift of God’s grace. As we are human, we have a finite capacity of compassion, emotional reserves, and coping skills. And as Ramona learned, we really can’t do this by ourselves. We need to trust in God’s grace to help and guide us, to remove impediments to our ability to love and care for others and ourselves, and to provide us with the capacity to empty our vessel of concerns—making room for sharing and receiving God’s grace.
Sound impossible in this time of trials and tribulations?
Today’s Gospel from St. Luke (1:26-38) points the way to the greatest truth of all, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
I can’t do this by myself. However, I have faith and trust that all things are possible with God. Amen.
God’s peace and grace be always with you. Randy+