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The Annunciation

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 when the angel had come to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women." When she had heard him she was troubled at his word, and kept pondering what manner of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shlat bring forth a son; and thou shalt call him Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
But Mary said to the angel, "How shall this happen, since I do not know man?" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth thy kinswoman also has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month; for nothing shall be impossible with God."
But Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to they word." And the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:26-37)

I often wonder how St Gabriel must have felt that day. He was in Heaven, where he would already have known that Mary would one day be crowned Queen of Heaven. He would already have loved her as the Mother of his God and as Queen of Heaven, yet this day, he appeared to her as a simple, pious, frightened girl bringing her news of incredible joy, not only to her, but to all humans of all generations past and to come, the coming of the Messiah.

We must not underestimate the importance of this event. Not only did God choose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus, but in a very real way, he hinged the entire salvific act on this one girl. What would have happened if Mary said, "No"? She had free will, God did not dictate that it would be so, but asked her to accept his request.

This is no mousey girl who just does as she's told and allows a patriarchal God to tell her what to do (as some would have you believe). This "yes", Mary's "fiat" is a statement that resounds through the ages with its force. Agreeing to accept something one doesn't understand and that will cause you, your parents and your betrothed public scandal is not something that is taken on without thought. A weak woman would have said no to avoid the ignominy. But, thankfully, a powerful woman said "Yes, let it be done unto me as you have said."

Thank you Blessed Mother. Help me to understand better what God is asking of me and to respond with a resounding "Yes".





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