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Announcement of the birth of Jesus

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REFLECTION

Luke 1:26-38

 

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.

 

REFLECTION

MAY IT BE DONE TO ME. Luke presents Mary as a woman of faith and obedience. At the Annunciation, she answers the angel Gabriel, “May it be done to me according to your word,” even if she does not fully comprehend what God’s calling entails. Neither will Simeon’s prophecy be clear to her. But Luke presents her pondering this happening in her heart. Her “obedience of faith” during the whole of her life’s pilgrimage entails knowing and humbly recognizing “how inscrutable are [God’s] judgments and how unsearchable His ways!” (Rom 11:33).

On October 13, 2013, the anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima (13 October 1917), Pope Francis dwelt on the experience of surprise of Mary on receiving the message of the angel and the consequences of her “Yes” in her life.

Pope Francis explained: “God surprises us. It is precisely in poverty, in weakness and in humility that He reveals Himself and grants us His love, which saves us, heals us and gives us strength. He asks us only to obey His word and to trust in Him.”

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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