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.
“I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word.”
May the angel of the Annunciation awaken in you God’s profound heartfelt love.
May your dreams lead you to profound reverence as you bow before the Divine born in the stable of every heart.
May Mary guide you in birthing the Holy One in your life and in birthing Love in others.
May Joseph engage you in deeper questioning and listening and give you courage to take the next step.
May your life become a Luminous Presence leading others to the place in their hearts and in the world where Christ is born anew. (Ministry of the Arts)
As I light the fourth candle of Advent, I pray, loving and generous God, grant me the grace to do your will, to be a person who is not afraid of your call in my life. To live my life with the courage of yes!
This day, therefore, is a day of joy and blessings for us, for it was on this day that God, who is rich in mercy, as Saint Paul says, out of the infinite love with which he has loved us, sent his own Son, even when we were dead by our sins and by our crimes, to give us new life in Jesus Christ, to manifest to future ages the magnificence of the riches of his grace through the goodness he has had for us in Jesus Christ. If, then, we enjoy such abundant graces to save ourselves and to become perfect saints, as Saint Paul says, we are indebted for all this to what Jesus Christ did for us on this day by becoming man out of love for us. Let us show him our gratitude by the holy use we make of these graces. (Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Meditation on the Annunciation)
Courtesy of Peggy Perkins, Director of Campus Ministry at Christian Brothers Academy Syracuse
- In spite of the risks, Mary responded “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” when asked to bear the son of God.
- Mary is given the reassurance that God goes with her. What she does, she does not do alone, but with the presence of God within her and surrounding her. She says, “Yes” to God in order that God could enter into our human condition and be present to us.
- St. John Baptist de La Salle in Letter 2 to a Brother dated 15 May 1701, says “Remembering that God is with you will help and inspire you in all that you do.” And in this Gospel passage, we are reminded that “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
- Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God. Saint John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us! Live Jesus in our hearts … Forever!