In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.
But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son; and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever; and his reign shall have no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative, Elizabeth, is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”
Then Mary said, “I am the hand-maid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Reading: The Gospel today introduces us to the miraculous conception of the Son of God in the Annunciation scene. The protagonists are Mary and the Angel Gabriel. The exchange between the young virgin and God’s messenger discloses that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the Son of the Most High will become human in the womb of Mary.
Reflection: There is only one Annunciation that has changed the course of salvation history: that which is recorded in our Gospel today. However, there are countless annunciations that take place every day. Perhaps we too have been given a message from heaven. The central question is: are we as courageous as the young virgin in our generosity to respond to God’s invitation to serve? If we resist and reject, our ordinary life will continue. But we lose an opportunity to be bigger than ourselves. Greatness passes us by, the doors will close and the roads will vanish. Mary was blessed among women not merely because she was docile. It was her courage that made her great in heaven and on earth.
Response: When was the nth time when I postponed my plan to do something to help my church or the charitable organization that I vowed to support? Today is a good day to actualize that plan and not postpone it again.
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