God not only answers our questions, but can also broaden our questions so that they take in a greater truth.
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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
Today’s Gospel describes to us the angel’s annunciation to Mary. Mary’s reaction might resemble that of Zechariah, but in fact this woman does not react with unbelief, but with the curiosity typical of one who has not locked her mind in a drawer. Mary questions the angel, asking him serious, deep, concrete questions.
The experience of faith, as the whole of our spiritual life, is not nourished by answers learned by heart, but by questions addressed intelligently to the One who alone can not only answer but can also broaden our questions so that they take in a greater truth:
“And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.’”
It’s not true that those who believe have no questions. And it’s not true that God doesn’t answer, either. We should recover this dynamic of authentic dialogue in our prayer, but we should also accept that God doesn’t always tell us what we would like to hear – although he certainly tells us the truth. And one truth is worth more than a thousand made-up stories.
Indeed, it’s of little use to find easy consolations; instead, we need to trust to the point of saying like Mary, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.