An­nounce­ment of the birth of Je­sus

Tempo - - Front Page - 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.


Hail, full of grace!

We cel­e­brate the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep- tion 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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