Fourth Sunday in Advent

Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “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, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

No matter how often I read about the Annunciation, I am always amazed at Mary’s reaction. Faced with total disruption of her life and major scandal, her only question is how it is physically possible for her to become pregnant. But once the angel tells her she will conceive supernaturally by the power of the Holy Spirit, she has no further questions. She calmly announces that she is the Lord’s servant and she is willing to accept God’s will. Most of us are not so accepting of God’s will when what He asks of us is much simpler that what Mary faced. But instead of worrying about hardships or expressing fear, Mary rejoiced at the opportunity to serve the Lord.

Lord God, You know that I don’t react as well as Mary did when You call on me to do something difficult for You. Give me a servant’s heart like that of Mary. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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