I pray for the grace to hear, like Mary, how God is calling me to cooperate in God’s redemptive mission.
Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:
Gospel: Lk 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.
“Study for the Annunciation” by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898
“The Annunciation” by James Tissot, 1886-1894
View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Image of “The Annunciation” by El Greco via www.the-athenaeum.org
by Robert F. Morneau
Were others asked?
A lassie from an isle in a distant sea?
A maiden in North Africa or a slave girl from the Congo?
How many times were angels sent and returned, unheard, unheeded?
Was Mary tenth on salvation's list, or the hundredth?
And you, my soul,
was "fiat" spoken
when the angel came?
Antiphon for the Virgin
by Hildegard of Bingen
Pierced by the light of God
drenched in the speech of God,
your body bloomed,
swelling with the breath of God.
For the Spirit purged you
of the poison Even took.
She soiled all freshness when she caught
from the devil's suggestion.
But in wonder within you
you hid an untainted
child of God's mind
and God's Son blossomed in your body.
The Holy One was his midwife:
his birth broke the laws
of flesh that Eve made. He was coupled
in the seedbed of holiness.
From “Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC” by Frederick Buechner:
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
Music: “Ave Maria” by Franz Biebl
Music: “Song of the Angel” by John Tavener
Music: “Ave Maria” performed by Aaron Neville
Song: “To Zion” by Lauryn Hill