Gospel text (Lc 1,26-38):
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, «Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you». Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.
But the angel said, «Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end». Then Mary said to the angel, «How can this be if I am a virgin?». 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 holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible». Then Mary said, «I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said». And the angel left 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)
«The angel came to her and said, Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you»
Fr. David COMPTE i Verdaguer
(Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the Gospel plays a tune made up of three notes. Three notes which, in our society, are not always that well-tuned: one note of doing, one of friendship and another one of coherence of life. Nowadays, we all have very busy lives, but, do we have a plan? Today, when we are navigating through a world of communications, are we capable of being alone in our own company for a while? Today, in the information era, are we letting it shape who we are?
A plan. Mary, a young woman «betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David» (Lk 1:28). Mary has a plan. Of human proportions, evidently. Nevertheless, God comes into her life to bestow on her another project... of divine proportions. Today, He wants to come into our lives too, to give our everyday human tasks divine proportions.
A presence. «Do not fear, Mary» (Lk 1:30). We just do not go and build the first thing that comes into our head! Lest our addiction to “doing” were to become a way to hide a void. Marriage, a life of servitude, our profession, should not mean a leap in the dark. «(...) Full of grace, the Lord is with you» (Lk 1:28). Presence that accompanies and provides a new meaning. Trust in God, which —indirectly— brings us to trust others. Friendship with God that renews our friendship with others, too.
To shape ourselves. Today, when we are confronted with so many stimuli, so often conflicting, it is necessary to give unity and shape to our life. Mary, says saint Louis Mary Grignion, «is the living mould of God». «A sculptor, explains Grignion, can make a statue in two ways: By using his skill, strength, experience and good tools to produce a statue out of hard, shapeless matter; or by making a cast of it in a mould (...). The second is quick, easy, straightforward, almost effortless and inexpensive, but the mould must be perfect and true to life and the material must be easy to handle and offer no resistance». Mary is the great mould of God. Do we turn to Her by being ourselves material that easy to shape?