A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 1:26-38:
26 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
32 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,
33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
35 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.
36 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;
37 for nothing will be impossible for God.”
38 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.
Reflection: Trusting in God
Mary was a simple woman from the far-flung town of Nazareth. Yet God chose her to be the mother of His only Son, the savior of the world. When the angel greeted her, she was “greatly troubled” but the angel assured her to be calm and not be afraid because she has found favor with God.
Indeed God is not only the creator but also the initiator of all things. It is His plan that we will be saved through His Son and He asked the cooperation of Mary to make His plan a reality. Mary in turn humbly accepted the offer of God and as the cliché says the rest is history.
The story of the annunciation is a story of trust. Mary and Joseph did not understand everything and they did not mind being misunderstood or even ridiculed by the people around them. They staked their honor, in truth, their whole lives to God. They put their full trust in His divine wisdom and power. Mary specifically submitted herself to be the handmaid or slave of the Lord.
The message of this particular reading is most appropriate in our world today. After almost two years, we are still hounded by the pandemic. Another feared variant of the virus is spreading fast and many countries are again imposing travel restrictions. There is every reason to be “greatly troubled” but it is in this situation that the words of Angel Gabriel “Do not be afraid” should be heeded. Like Mary and Joseph, let us put our full trust in the divine power. After all, Jesus was born more than two thousand years ago and terrible wars and pandemics came and went. God is in control. God is more than enough. The gospel reading above assures us that His kingdom will have no end. Like Mary and Joseph, let us submit to the will of the Lord and we shall overcome.
See also: Reflection for December 8, 2021