Announcement of the birth of Jesus

Published December 20, 2020, 12:16 AM

by Manila Bulletin


LUKE 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

Greater than our desires

Every one of us welcomes good news. But what if the good news seems too good to be true or too big for us? Do we even know how to handle it? Are our hearts big enough to contain it? Think of a poor person who finds out that he has just won the biggest lottery of his country! Even news less overwhelming than this can be challenging enough to handle.

The angel Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary of Nazareth seems a “cute” little piece of good news. But what it entails on Mary’s part is too much, perhaps, for a simple village maiden like her. It is overwhelming enough to have seen an angel; how much more to have heard that she will become the sanctuary and vessel of the God-Incarnate!

But, as always, God helps those whom God calls to service. And so Mary receives the gift of total surrender and trust that, although she does not understand and is perhaps scared of the enormity of her task, she humbly bows down and answers “Yes” to God’s proposal.

If we were in Mary’s place, how would we have responded to God’s offer?

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: