In the sixth month, 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.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Commentary of the day :
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906), Carmelite
Heaven in faith (First retreat), Tenth Day (©Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites)
“Hail, full of grace!”
“If you knew the gift of God”, Christ said one evening to the Samaritan woman (Jn 4,10). But what is this gift of God if not himself? And, the beloved disciple tells us:
“He came to his own and his own did not accept him” (Jn 1,11). St. John the Baptist could still say to many souls these words of reproach: “There is one in the midst of you, whom you do not know” (Jn 1,26; cf. Lk 17,21).
“If you knew the gift of God.” There is one who knew this gift of God, one who did not lose one particle of it, one who was so pure, so luminous that she seemed to be the Light itself: Speculum justitiae. One whose life was so simple: so lost in God that there is hardly anything we can say about it.
Virgo fidelis: that is, Faithful Virgin, “who kept all these things in her heart” (Lk 2,19.51). She remained so little, so recollected in God’s presence in the seclusion of the Temple that she drew down upon herself the delight of the Holy Trinity: “Because he has looked upon the lowliness of his servant, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!” (Lk 1,48). The Father bending down to this beautiful creature, who was so unaware of her own beauty, willed that she be the Mother in time of him whose Father he is in eternity. Then the Spirit of love, who presides over all of God’s works, came upon her; the Virgin said her fiat: “Behold the servant of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word,” and the greatest of mysteries was accomplished. By the descent of the Word in her, Mary became forever God’s prey.
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