Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Day the "Word Was Made Flesh"

Copyright (c) 2010 Bob and Penny Lord's Site

The Annunciation

From The Rosary - The Life of Jesus and Mary

  Mary had been consecrated to the Temple, as a child.
Her ongoing prayer was that the Messiah would come in her
lifetime and free the people she loved so much. She spent
much of her time in the Temple; but since her father's
death, she spent a great deal of time caring for her aging
mother, Anne. Mary prayed constantly, even while doing her
chores at home. There was a saying: "What good can come
out of Nazareth." Nazareth, through the will of God would
give us Mother Mary, Saint Joseph and Jesus.   It was
late afternoon. March was filled with promise of new
beginnings. Mary had a spring to her step, as she walked
home from the well, from which she drew water each day.
But somehow, this day felt different. Was she remembering
the ancient prayer said at the Seder (the meal celebrating
the Passover): "Why is this night different from any other
night?" At the Seder, there was always an extra place set
at the table in expectation of Elijah's return. But, this
night, the place set was beneath Mary's heart, and it would
be filled by the Messiah!   Let us try to envision how
the events might have taken place. The sun went down, and
dusk began to dim the sky; a chill crept into the air.
Mary was kneeling in her home, lost in prayer. She began
to wonder how it would be, when the Messiah arrived. We
can see her praying, a cool breeze brushing past her. Was
it the winds blowing off the sea, cooling the house? There
was a tingling electricity in the air, a fluttering sound,
like that of birds' wings. She looked around. There was
nothing. Suddenly a great calm came over her. The wind
stopped. There was a hush, a stillness, as if time had
stopped. A figure of a beautiful young man entered through
the window. There was a brightness about him, as if he
were translucent. He looked at her. His eyes were
brilliant. At first, she was frightened; then a rush of
warmth and peace came over her whole body. She couldn't
take her eyes from him.   The Angel said to her,
"Hail, most favored one. The Lord is with you." She was
startled by his words.

          "Do not
be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with the Lord. You
will conceive in your womb, and bear a Child, and you will
call Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the
Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to Him the
throne of David His father, and He will reign over the
House of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will have no end."
  What was he talking about? How could she conceive
and bear a child? She was a virgin. She wasn't married!
She was engaged to Joseph the carpenter, but they had vowed
to live a celibate life when they became husband and wife.
Yet while she wondered, she never doubted. She asked him
with excitement and awe. It was the way a trusting child
might ask her daddy how an impossible task would be
accomplished.   "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"

  The Angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit
will come upon you and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you and for that reason the Holy Child to be
born will be called the Son of God".

She gasped. It was as if she was almost afraid to breathe.
She didn't understand, at that moment, what the messenger
meant by the Holy Spirit coming upon her. The key word in
her mind, in her entire being, was "The Son of God". Is
this Angel speaking of the Messiah? Is he telling me I am
to be the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God? Am I the
one, I've been praying for, the one to be the vessel to
bring salvation into the world? Is that what he's saying?
Mary knew that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. It
was part of Holy Scripture. But, she never dared to think
she would be the one. Her prayer had been that the Messiah
would be born in her generation and she might serve the
mother of the Messiah.   The Angel further affirmed
the power of God. He added:

"And behold, your cousin Elizabeth in her old age has also
conceived a son; she is in her sixth month, and everyone
thought she was barren. You see, with God, nothing is
impossible."   Mary silently prayed: "Oh, my Lord, it
is You! Is this really possible? Would You give this
honor to me? I'm not worthy."  But the words of the
Angel pierced her senses, opening her heart and mind: "You
see, with God, nothing is impossible." She responded, in
her heart: "I trust You, my Lord and my God. I know You
would never hurt me. And I would give up my life for You."
  She looked up at the Angel before her. He was
waiting for something, what? Was this messenger of God
waiting for an answer from her? She looked at him, again.
He was waiting for her yes! Tears streamed down her face.
He looked at her with so much love. His gaze filled her
with a profound warmth. She gave her answer:

"I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done unto me
according to your word." And as the tears cascaded down
her cheeks, she cried out in her heart, "Yes! I say Yes!"
  Could she hear the choirs of Angels singing praises
to the Lord, at these words of their future Queen? The
Angel before her, whom we know to be Gabriel, looked at her
with blinding joy in his eyes. A brilliant light filled
the room, and surrounded her. She felt a surge of energy
go through her. She looked up at the Angel. He looked at
her. He smiled. It was done.   The Angel slowly
disappeared, and the room became dark.

The girl, now woman, sat in the darkness, her heart
beating, her mind racing. She repeated silently, the words
of the Angel. She was to be the Mother of God. She could
feel His Presence inside her. It was true. Now she
understood! For more information about The Rosary the Life
of Jesus and Mary click here  

Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and
television hosts on EWTN, Global Catholic television. They
are prolific writers about the Catholic faith, especially
the Saints for which they have been dubbed "experts on the
Saints." For more information about the Rosary go to:

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Speak Evil of No Man...Really??

I love the New Testament. I think it's fair to say that I
live, eat, breathe, and drink the New Testament. I
honestly think that there's no piece of literature more
inspiring and uplifting than the New Testament. Having said
that, I have to admit that more often than not, I find
myself frustrated—and a bit annoyed—at its
content. Because the more I read the New Testament, the
more I realize that God has set the bar sky-high for those
that would call themselves Christ -followers. Case in
point. The Apostle Paul tells us in Titus 3:2 to "Speak
evil of no man."

Um...excuse me Paul? What were you thinking? Don't you
believe that evil exists in the world? Certainly when you
talk about speaking evil of no man, you don't mean to
include people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot ...or
do you? Oh, wait a second. I almost forgot. You wrote
these words when the homicidal maniac named Nero was doing
some pretty crazy things, like impaling Christians and
using them for torches. My bad. I guess you did mean it.
Still, couldn't you have at least put in an exception
clause for those that are really bad?

Why does this verse annoy me so much? Because I've got some
pretty strong political opinions. And what I think this
verse is saying is that even if I believed that the
presidency of Barack Obama represents the second coming of
Chairman Mao or that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin want to
reduce the middle class to permanent serfdom, I'm still not
supposed to speak evil of them.

I can hear the half-screams already. You're proof-texting!
Certainly we need to speak against people that believe in
killing unborn babies, that are in bed with Wall Street,
that raise taxes, that cut social spending, that are
steering our country on a path to socialism or—insert
your political beef here. Very well then. My question to
you is this. Is the person that you're thinking about worse
than Satan? I doubt it. According to Jude verses 8 and 9,
Christians aren't even supposed to bring a reviling
accusation against Satan! And, by the way, the context of
the passage in Jude is talking about those in
authority—including political leaders.

When Jesus spoke about loving enemies, He used the Heavenly
Father as an example of someone who is "kind to the
unthankful and evil" (Luke 6:35). Notice the word evil.
Evil is a pretty strong word. It encompasses everything
from your passive aggressive mother- in- law to the
terrorism of Osama Bin Laden and—yes—to Barack
Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Glen Beck
depending on your political persuasion. It's true that
Jesus called the Pharisees "Brood of vipers!" (Matthew
23:33) but notice that He never called Caiaphas a snake.
Jesus never made it personal. He attacked ideas, not

Furthermore, if anyone would have qualified for the title
of scumbag, it would have been Zacchaeus; the guy that was
using his position with the Romans to screw the poor among
his own people. Yet, how did Jesus treat Zacchaeus? He
offered unconditional friendship to the man by inviting
Himself to his house. Zacchaeus became a changed man (Luke
19:1-10). Heck, Jesus even called Judas His friend after
the Scriptures specifically tell us that Judas became
indwelt by Satan! (Matthew 26:50, Luke 22:3) Talk about
seeing life through rose-colored glasses!

I'm not saying that I have all the answers when it comes to
reconciling this teaching with the idea that Christians are
supposed to take a stand against injustice and "expose" the
works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). I'm just wandering
what would happen if Christians worldwide became known as
people that are so loving, so kind, so gracious, so humble,
that they refuse to speak evil of people with whom they
have deep disagreements? What if Christians became known
as people that are—to quote the last part of the
verse we started with—"peaceable and gentle, showing
all humility to all men." What if?

Aaron D. Taylor is the author of "Alone with a Jihadist",
available wherever books are sold. To learn more about
Aaron's ministry, go to Aaron
can be contacted at

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