Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Like Mary, say ‘yes’ to what Jesus asks of you
Based on the Gospel of Luke 1:26-38
The Annunciation and the greatest yes. We hear many kinds of announcements and announcers in our life: the ring of a telephone tells us we have a call; the sports announcer on TV tells us what is happening in the football game; the siren from a fire engine tells drivers to get out of the way as the fire engine moves quickly through traffic to get to the fire.
We know God used announcers, too. The last two weeks we heard about John the Baptist telling people that Jesus is coming. In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary and says, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was puzzled by what he said. Then Gabriel continued, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have been blessed by God. You are going to have a baby and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God.”
Mary asked him, “How can this be?” Gabriel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of God will cover you, and the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” He also told her that her elderly cousin Elizabeth was expecting a baby.
All of this news was a lot for Mary to think about quickly as she listened carefully to Gabriel’s words. Because she loved God very much she was ready to do whatever he asked of her. With all her heart, Mary said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” At that very moment, Jesus, the Son of God became man and the Virgin Mary became the Mother of God.
We call the coming of the angel to Mary the Annunciation because the Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus and Mary accepted being the Mother of Jesus. The Annunciation is the first Joyful Mystery of the rosary. When Mary agreed to become the Mother of God, she became our mother, too. As we pray the rosary and think about the Joyful Mysteries, let’s remember to ask Mary for her help so that we, too will always say “yes” to whatever God may ask of us.
It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent. During this final week before Christmas, with prayer, love, kindness and joy, really get your heart ready for Jesus. Christmas is near. With all your heart be ready to say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”