In contrast to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary is not barren. Her child does not come into existence because God removes sterility. Rather, Mary is a virgin who has not known man—her child is totally God’s work, a new creation. The angel’s appearance to Zechariah happens in the Jerusalem Temple, signifying continuity with the Old Testament institutions. But the annunciation to Mary takes place in Nazareth that does not appear in the whole Old Testament, again a sign of total newness on what God is doing. Lastly, John the Baptist is the answer to his aged parents’ yearning for a child. Mary does not yearn for a child, for she has not yet lived with her betrothed. Jesus is the surprise of creation. His conception is totally God’s initiative, beyond human imaginings.
Gospel • LUKE 1:26-38 [or MATTHEW 22:1-14]
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.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.