The Gospel according to 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: Mary was a young girl from the small Village of Nazareth. To her knowledge, she and her family were typical people that worked and had faith in their God. This story is where the Faith of Mary became reality and truly believed. Her response moves from one of fear to total trust in God’s mysterious designs. Imagine the doubt that entered her mind, then the fear, and not to mention all the questions that came to mind. But after the explanations from the Angel Gabriel, did Mary really understand the implications of what she had been told and how her life would change. There is one thing for sure, Mary did recognize the messenger as an Angel from God and, in deep faith and trust, accepted what she was being asked to do by responding “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
All this reminds me of a verse in Jeremiah (1:5), “the Word of the Lord came to me: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I dedicated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations”.
This verse confirms that long before we were born, we are called by God to know, love, and serve him. We have no idea how we are going to serve Him until we look back one day and realize that “This is it”! But it’s never enough. There is a plan and it’s up to us to find it. Let me give you an example by my life as a deacon. Yes, I answered His call to be a deacon and serve His people but consider this. I was ordained the Summer of 2019 and 6 months later we were all struck with the COVID pandemic. So, all my ministries that I was building up and working on came to a halt. Fast forward to today, the pandemic is still around but the church and our community is finding ways to work around it. I search for the real reason why God wanted me to be a deacon. And as far as I am concerned, I still yet have to find it.
Mary was listening. She heard the message of the angel and responded with an unconditional ‘yes’.
Our Lady is the supreme example of obedience to the will of God. The primary meaning of each day of our lives is to say with her, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Action of the Day: We have been the constant recipients of his blessings. Do we notice these in our daily lives? Do we take time to listen the still small voice of God in our day?