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Daily Devotional for March 25

March 25                                                           Luke 1:26-38

The Feast of the Annunciation - Favored of God

The angel announced to Mary that she had found favor with
God, and she humbly acquiesced to the Annunciation. Through
the Annunciation, womanhood was blessed, and the chattel
status of woman was forever changed. Christianity continues
to evolve this theme of women's equality.

But it is to the question of having "found favor with God" that
we look today. Looking at her own life, Mary might very well
have wondered just what the favor was. She was subject to
rumors that her child was illegitimate; she was subject to the
rigors of an uncomfortable birth in a strange place; because of
Herod's paranoia, she had to flee to Egypt to save her child's life.

Then there were the years of his growing, and the loss in early
adolescence of his earthly father, leaving Mary a young widow,
with all the hardships that widowhood implied in first-century
Nazareth. Worst of all, she had to be present when the Romans
crucified her son. Looking at all of these events, she might
well have wondered just what the advantage was in being
favored by the Most High.

So, too, with us today. We may believe that the measure of
God's favor lies in money, property, ease, success, or fame
- and sometimes even churches tell us this. Had Mary
measured her status with God in this manner, though, she
might well have concluded that she was not favored at all.

The measure of God's favor often comes in the form of strength of
character to endure great hardships, especially the hardships of
the spiritual path. And it is often those who tread this path who
give us the courage, strength, and hope to meet our own trials.

Mary came through her moment of trial to see her son resur-
rected and the Christian church formed. Tradition has it that
she, together with one of Jesus' brothers, for many years
pastored the church at Jerusalem. She was truly favored of God!

      Thought for today: If I have too much of the world's
             favor, I may not have enough of God's

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C

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