The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 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.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
HAIL, FULL OF GRACE! On this solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we celebrate the great privilege Mary had in God’s plan for humanity. For we believe that in view of that plan she was freed from sin from her moment of conception in her mother Anne’s womb. No other human being was given this same privilege—only the one who would become the Mother of God.
No wonder we accord her such great honor, mirroring the singular love God has for her, choosing her womb to be the ark of God’s Son. As Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cries out, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42).
“The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Lk 1:49).
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.