Saturday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: St. Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
Six months after Gabriel promised Zacharias a baby, the angel came to Mary and promised her a still greater baby. Like Zacharias, Mary had a question: “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” It sounds similar to Zacharias’ “How can I know this” question, but it is a little different, and that little difference is critical. Zacharias did not believe God’s Word from the angel. Mary didn’t question it; she questioned the mechanics. She believed, but she didn’t know how it would happen because she had never been with a man.
The angel gave her as clear an explanation as possible when it comes to the mechanics of a miracle. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.” Mary believed that, and humbly submitted to it. What she did not understand she still trusted. God grant us also, even when we don’t understand His Word, to trust it, to submit to it, and to cling to it. For the Words of the Lord truly are “the words of eternal life.”
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for Your Words. Grant me grace to believe them, and to trust, even where I do not understand. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.