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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 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 have found favor with God
Mary is troubled when she hears the angel say, “Hail, full of grace.” She becomes even more troubled when the angel repeats the idea. God finds Mary perfectly fit to carry out the divine plan for his Son and for the salvation of the world. No other woman can fulfill God’s will without glitches.

The angel adds more information on what is going to happen with her and her son. It will be something big, something extraordinary. It involves God the Father siring a divine son through her who is just a lowly human being.

This is new in the history of Israel. The Messiah is predicted by the Jews to be born of a young woman, not necessarily coming from God. He will be a warrior-leader, having the courage and skill of King David who fought against the Philistines and established peace in the kingdom. God surprises the Jews with a Messiah no less than his only-begotten Son, born of a virgin.

Mary is favored by God. When we honor her, we are doing only what God has done for her.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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