The Christmas tree is seen as Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-IMMACULATE-CONCEPTION Dec. 8, 2017.
By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ (http://rcsocialjusticett.org & Director, CREDI
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation (Lk 1:26–38). Tomorrow we will celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus. Angel Gabriel’s initial greeting to Mary left her “deeply disturbed”. She did not understand what he meant when he said: “Rejoice, highly favoured! The Lord is with you”. He continued: “Mary, do not be afraid, you have won God’s favour…. Listen! you are to conceive and bear a son and you must name him Jesus….and his reign will have no end.” He later tells her that her old cousin, Elizabeth, whom people called “barren”, was six months pregnant.
Mary’s faith was strong. She believed the angel’s words that “nothing is impossible to God”. God has a plan for all of us. Are we as open to His plan as Mary was? Her humble, unreserved “Yes”; her fiat to His plan is reflected in her words to the angel: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me.” She submits/surrenders herself to His will totally and without further ado because of her belief. How strong is our faith?
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