Sunday, December 24
2 Sm 7:1-5, 8-12, 14a, 16; Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29;
Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38
Luke 1:26-38 Announcement of the Birth of Jesus
And coming to her, he said, “Hail favored one!
The Lord is with you.” Lk 1:28
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. Lk 1:31
Mary said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk 1:38
A striking reminder of the Annunciation is the beautiful painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1897. Mary is sitting on her bed in prayer when the angel Gabriel arrives with this message. “Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” In chatting with Mary about her “yes” and my/our “yes,” she reminded me that none of us has any idea of the implications of that yes. Like us, there were times when Mary started counting the cost – just part of being human. Mary acknowledged what she was doing and then thanked God for the call. How thankful are we for our call? Each day Mary renewed her commitment to her yes. We need to do the same. All is God’s grace and God’s work. Renewing our commitment is like a shot of positive energy for our world. Mary always reminds us to keep our focus on her Son. “May it be done to me according to your word.”
Mary, thank you for your unconditional “yes.” Please lead each of us closer to your Son. As we celebrate the “Word made Flesh,” we renew our daily “yes” and thank Jesus for his gift of Incarnation—one with all creation!
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.
Sister Rita Marie Schmitz
St. Louis, MO