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Announcement of the birth of Jesus

 

 

reflections

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: Hail, full of grace!

We celebrate the Immaculate Concep­tion of Mary. In the grand plan of salvation initiated by God, this unique grace given to Mary is immensely important. This grace is not given as a personal favor to her, but for God to inaugurate his plan of creating a new humanity.

In the book of Genesis, man turned against God’s will and listened instead to the prod­ding of the Evil One, represented by a ser­pent. In this way, the serpent bit the heel of man. But God will send somebody to crush the serpent’s head. This, of course, is none other than Jesus who will defeat evil by of­fering his life on the cross. Jesus will destroy death by rising to a new life in glory!

Mary is the woman chosen by God to bring forth Jesus into the world. When Archangel Gabriel speaks to Mary, the angel does not call her by name. Instead, the angel ad­dresses her as “full of grace.” When Mary visits Elizabeth, the elderly cousin refers to Mary as “Blessed are you among women.”

Upon the reflection done by many simple and ancient believers, it is concluded, based on the words of the angel and the words of Elizabeth who at that point is filled with the Holy Spirit, that the role of Mary in God’s plan is of supreme value. If Mary is chosen to be Mother of the Savior, she is left unsul­lied by original sin. Mary is conceived without any sin at all.

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SOURCE: “365 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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