Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Be ready to say ‘yes’ to God
Based on 2 Sam 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38
The Annunciation (announcement) and the greatest yes.
The past two weeks we heard about John the Baptist as God’s messenger (announcer) telling people that Jesus is coming. In today’s Gospel, the Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary and says, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
Mary is surprised and puzzled by what he said. Gabriel continues, “Do not be afraid, Mary. 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 asks, “How can this be?”
Gabriel answers, “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 says her elderly cousin Elizabeth is expecting a baby.
All this news is a lot for Mary to think about quickly as she listenes carefully to Gabriel’s words. Because she loves God very much, she is ready to do whatever he asks of her.
With all her heart, Mary says, “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’s help so that we, too, will always say “yes” to whatever God asks of us.
It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent. During these final days before Christmas, with prayer, love, kindness, joy and forgiveness, really get your heart ready for Jesus. With all your heart be ready to say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”