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Announcement of the birth of Jesus

Gospel Reading: Lk 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
YOU WILL CONCEIVE IN YOUR WOMB AND BEAR A SON
This is the root of today’s feast: Mary is Queen because of her unique association to her Son, both during her earthly journey and in heavenly glory. The great saint, Ephrem of Syria, said regarding the queenship of Mary that it derives from her maternity: She is Mother of the Lord, of the King of kings (cf Is 9:1-6), and she points to Jesus as our life, our salvation, and our hope.

Blessed Paul VI recalled in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus: “In the Virgin Mary everything is relative to Christ and dependent upon Him. It was with a view to Christ that God the Father from all eternity chose her to be the all-holy Mother and adorned her with gifts of the Spirit granted to no one else” (n 25). Mary’s Queenship, therefore, is a consequence of her being united with her Son, of her being in heaven, i.e., in communion with God. She participates in God’s responsibilities over the world and in God’s love for the world. There is the commonly held idea that a king or queen should be a person with power and riches. But this is not the kind of royalty proper to Jesus and Mary. The Lordship and Kingship of Christ is interwoven with humility, service, and love, and so is his Mother’s Queenship.

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The title of Queen for Mary is a title of trust, of joy, and of love.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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