Solemnity of the Annunciation

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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 he 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 of 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.

It never gets old. The story of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary, that is, to announce to her that she would be the Mother of God. The mystery, the magnificence, the joy, the amazement of it all. There is Mary, a young girl, a teenager really, who had so little experience in the ways of the world, being called on to carry the weight of the world in her womb. The God the universe could not contain is to be contained in her womb, prepared to enter into history for the sake of our salvation.

God had so prepared her heart, by means of the Immaculate Conception, for her unique mission. Full of grace, indeed! When Gabriel announced to her God’s plan, she hesitated only in her confusion over how such a thing could be done, since she was still innocent of the touch of a man. But, the touch of God both makes fruitful and keeps virginal. She would require all the grace God had given her to manage such a mission.

What else is there to say? In becoming Jesus’ Mother, Mary became our Mother, given to us by her Son from His cross. “Behold, your Mother!” Now, she sits next to her Son in glory, while keeping watch over her child, the Church, the Body of Christ.

Pray for us, Holy Mother of God!

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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