Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent


Ian Montgomery

Psalm 145:8-19
Isaiah 49:8-15
John 5:19-29

In today’s lessons we read of the constant theme of all Jewish and Christian history: the relationship between God and his people. In Isaiah we witness the people of Israel hearing of the faithfulness of God, but responding that “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” The Lord responds to the servants unfaithfulness with continued faithfulness: “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

In Psalm 145 we read of the many sorts of occasion in which the Lord is loving and faithful. We also read what our part of the bargain in this relationship is: “The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully.”

Finally, St. John explains what a faithful calling upon the Lord might look like: “…he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

John’s words have particular significance on this day, when we commemorate the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That moment when our Lord was “conceived by the Holy Ghost” — when the Angel announced unto Mary that she would “conceive by the Holy Ghost” and she did. Mary “heard the word,” she believed, and she bore the word of God made flesh, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Let us, as we question, and search, and wait, join Mary in the eternal refrain: “Be it unto me, according to thy word.”