Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
(alternate reading: Matthew 11:11-15)
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" 35 And the angel said to her, "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. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible."38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
God borrows Mary's flesh to lead humanity to glory, by an anonymous early author from the Greek Church
"Revealing to you the pre-eternal counsel, Gabriel came and stood before you, maid, and in greeting said, 'Rejoice, earth that has not been sown; rejoice, burning bush that remains unconsumed; Rejoice, unsearchable depth; Rejoice, bridge that leads to heaven; Rejoice, ladder raised on high that Jacob saw; Rejoice, divine jar of manna; Rejoice, deliverance from the curse; Rejoice, restoration of Adam, the Lord is with you!'
"'You appeared to me in the form of a man,' said the undefiled maid to the chief of the heavenly hosts. 'How then do you speak to me of things that pass human power? For you have said that God shall be with me and shall take up his dwelling in my womb. How shall I become the spacious habitation and the holy place of him that rides upon the cherubim? (Psalm 18:10) Do not amuse me with deceit; for I have not known pleasure, I have not entered into wedlock. How then shall I bear a child?'
"Then the bodiless angel replied, 'When God so wills, the order of nature is overcome, and what is beyond humankind comes to pass. Believe that my sayings are true, all-holy and immaculate lady.' And she cried aloud, 'Let it be to me according to your word, and I shall bear him that is without flesh, who shall borrow flesh from me, that through this mingling he may lead humankind up to his ancient glory, for he alone has power so to do!'"(excerpt from STICHERA OF THE ANNUNCIATION)