March 25, 2015

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.
I love the story of the angel Gabriel announcing to young Mary that she will conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Even more, I love Mary’s reply, “May it be done to me according to your word.” In other words, Mary was humbly obedient.
Although there is no direct evidence of Mary’s age at the time of her betrothal, many scholars speculate that in accordance with Jewish customs of that era, Mary may have been as young as 12 years old. In other words, she was an innocent child.
Interestingly, many years later, Jesus said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3
What does it mean to be like a little child? As parents, we know that when our child is young and innocent and we tell them it’s time to go, the child takes our hand and off we go.
Several years later when our child is seventeen, we say the same thing and the young adult replies, “Why do we have to leave now? Where are we going? Are we coming back here later?”
The younger the child, the more the child trusts and obeys their parent without question.
The angel Gabriel had spoken earlier in scripture to the elderly priest, Zechariah. Gabriel tells him that his wife, Elizabeth, who was advanced in age, would soon conceive their first child, a son.
Zechariah questioned Gabriel’s word and was stricken mute until the child was born.
Sadly, too often, I am like Zechariah and find myself questioning and doubting God’s urgings and direction. I need to try to emulate Mary, to seek and be submissive to the will of God in all aspects of my life.
I pray each day, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
But, I also need to pray, “May thy will be done in my life that I may attain heaven.”
“May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38