Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
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.
“Let it be done to me as you have said.”
In this gospel text Mary passes through a range of feelings: She was“troubled”by the angel’s strange greeting; she was afraid; she was incredulous (“How can this be…?”); and finally she responded with faithful submission: “Let it be done to me ac- cording to your word.” None of us faces exactly the same leap of faith that was required of Mary. But all of us as Christians are called to accept God’s promises on the basis of faith—without proof or guarantee. Faith, in contrast, is not “natural.”
It was in the space created by Mary’s faith—and not simply in her womb—that the Word became flesh. For this reason she has been called not only the Mother of Jesus but Mother of Church. In subsequent centuries, Mary’s status and her distinctive nature would be the subject of dogmatic pronouncements and learned tomes. But in the end her preeminence is due to her having exemplified the spirit of true discipleship: attention, reverence, and obedience to the word and will of God.
She was in effect the first and paradigmatic disciple. She is thus the first to be honored among the saints.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019