Today's feast of Our Lady of Sorrows puts a poignant spin on our praying of the Angelus. It is clearer today that Gabriel's words ("The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father") do not presage an untroubled life and an easy victory for the one whom Mary will conceive and bear.
The image this week, in keeping with the feast, is not that of the Annunciation itself, but of the moment when Gabriel's message was made known to the wider world: the Nativity. The shadow of the Cross stands ready to receive Mary's child when the Hour comes. The depiction is by German priest and artist, Sieger Köder, well known for "hiding" images in his images. In this Nativity, look for the inscription INRI, which Pontius Pilate will order placed on his Cross: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."
In the Angelus today, pray for parents who must witness the terrible sufferings of their children, especially in situations of war.
Posters, cards and meditation books on the art of Sieger Köder are available from Pauline Books & Media, UK.