Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38.
Vs.26 The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,
Vs.27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Vs.28 He went in and said to her, “Rejoice, so highly favoured, the lord is with you.”
Vs.29 She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean,
Vs.30 but the angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.
Vs.31 Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.
Vs.32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David;
Vs.33 he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end.
Vs.34 Mary said to the angel, “But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?”
Vs.35 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” the angel answered, “and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.
Vs.36 Know this too, your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month,
Vs.37 for nothing is impossible to God.”
Vs.38 “I am the handmaid of the Lord,” said Mary, “let what you have said be done to me.” And the angel left her.
Guidelines for Meditation.
Can you remember an overwhelming experience of being loved, by God or another human being or both at the same time, “rejoice, so highly favoured the Lord is with you” and it was the beginning of a whole new direction in life?
Can you remember an experience of pregnancy and the happiness and joy that came with it, as you considered the gift and the possibilities of the new life within – “he will be great and will called the Son of the Most High,” and you humbly and trustingly entered into this awesome calling, “behold the handmaid of the Lord..”?
Can you remember an experience of having something within you, a wisdom or truth or a vision; it seems so small and fragile but you are convinced of its power and greatness, “the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor david and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end?”
Have you had the experience of being called to new venture, task or challenge, “you are to conceive and bear a son,” and you were blessed with the company of “an angel” who walked with you step by step and helped you work through your doubts and uncertainties “deeply disturbed by these words” and “how can this come about since I am a virgin,” until eventually you were able to say “I will do it?
Can you remember some long and painful struggle in your life to accept some reality as a “word of God” until one day you were able to say, “Behold the Lamb of God be it done onto me according to thy word.”