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 handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Mary had a reason to rejoice on that blessed day when the angel Gabriel first brought the news to her. She was entrusted with a ministry that God had never asked before from any of the great personalities in the Old Testament. The divine confidence rests on the fragile shoulder of a girl-child of perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age. Many speak about the obedience and docility of the Blessed Virgin. But few ever talk about her courage. To be chosen as the Mother of the Son of the Most High is a tall order. Yet, this simple maiden did not hesitate and carried the ministry with quiet courage and dignity. No wonder she was blessed among women. She was blessed with uncommon valor not found in anyone who preceded her.