Reading I: Is 7:10-14; 8:10
Responsorial Psalm: 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
Reading II: Heb 10:4-10
Gospel: Lk 1:26-38
Liturgical colour: White.
My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ:
Today, we come together to celebrate The Annunciation of Our dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The day when The Angel Gabriel brought the glad tidings to Mary that she was going to conceive, and to be the mother of Our Lord when he was to come and live amongst us on the earth.
Let us take a look at today’s Gospel reading of Lk 1:26-38 (NIV):
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
There has never ever been better Good News proclaimed to us than the Holy message which the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary that day. The world was in darkness of sin. Then, as if out of nowhere comes an angel to this young girl Mary, who was from a lowly family to announce the greatest news ever heard by human ears…
God has spoken to sinful humans. His message is Jesus Christ, our dear Lord and Saviour.
This news brought to Mary from God, by way of the angel Gabriel, was the way in which Jesus would make His first entrance into our earthly world. The incarnation is the result of Jesus being born of a human mother and of the Holy Spirit. We also realize that technically it was a virgin conception. This divine miracle here is how Jesus was conceived.
LK 1:26-27 NIV:
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
In Verse 27, we are told young Mary was pledged to be married (betrothed) to Joseph. From ancient Jewish customs, we understand that a betrothal was a binding engagement. A signed contract. Once the contract was signed by all the parties it could not be broken except by a divorce. During this time of betrothal there were to be no intimate acts together. The husband to be would pay the father of the bride a certain amount of money because the father of the bride was loosing a worker and the other family was gaining one.
For Mary to show up pregnant would cast enormous amount of doubt on her character. Everyone would be wondering what on earth was going on. Mary and Joseph are not living up to the agreement or perhaps Mary has found someone else?
Regardless what people would’ve thoughts or talked about behind her back she was willing to obey God regardless. She feared God more than she feared man. Would we be willing to sacrifice our reputation to do God’s will just as Mary did? You may say that God would never ask us to do something that would put our reputation in jeopardy…so think about what this meant for the young, betrothed Mary. For the rest of her life she was looked down upon by those who didn’t believe. Jesus was considered an illegitimate child and Mary an adulterer.
Mary was of lowly estate. By human standards Mary was an unimportant teenager, but to God, however, she was indeed highly blessed.
Mary was Highly Favoured (LK 1:28-29 NIV):
 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O Favoured one, the Lord is with you!”  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.
From these verses, we realize that being Favoured by God and being of low estate can go together. Often, we as human, for some reason think that poverty is a sign of disfavour.
But here, it’s crystal clear that they can and often do go together. This should bring up the question…Are we really blessed? Are all the comforts and material things which we enjoy so much truly always a blessing from God? Mary was highly Favoured and yet she remained very poor to the world’s standards. This should challenge our engrained thinking about the worldly material possessions which we may have.
Mary had much the same reaction as did Zechariah when the angel appeared to him. He was frightened she was greatly troubled. Gabriel says his usual opening line, Do not be afraid.
What is meant by the word favoured is that God chose her to bear the Lord Jesus. She was favoured or chosen to be the mother of Our Lord Jesus.
The Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Let us pray:
[That we may become more like Christ,
who chose to become one of us.]
Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You have revealed the beauty of your power
by exalting the lowly virgin of Nazareth
and making her the mother of our Saviour.
May the prayers of this woman
bring Jesus to the waiting world
and fill the void of incompletion
with the presence of her child,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit
one God forever and ever. Amen