The Annunciation of our Lord

Christmas is only a pregnancy length away. I suppose that is why the church chose 25 March to celebrate the unexpected message that Jesus' mother Mary received from the Angel Gabriel. We mostly hear the story read at Christmas. It is also the gospel reading today, the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here's the story from Luke's gospel:

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her." Luke 1: 26 - 38. NRSV

If you are looking for a helpful reflection on this then I think you couldn't do better than reading 'A sonnet for the Annunciation' by Malcolm Guite. He muses on how preoccupied we can be with our own purposes, so "miss the shimmer of the angel's wings". So different from the young girl Mary we remember today.

"But on this day a young girl stopped to see

With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice;

The promise of His glory yet to be,

As time stood still for her to make a choice;

Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,

The Word himself was waiting on her word."

 You can listen to the whole sonnet or read it for yourself here.

Or you can take a long at my previous posts for 25 March:

Happy Lady Day!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons