In today's gospel, we learn about how the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to reveal God's plan for her to become the mother of God.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to recognise when God is trying to speak to me in my daily life. Amen
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply, “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 called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Ask the group: Who are some examples of people who have changed the world for the better by their work or contribution? (Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine, Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb, and so on) What prepared these people to make these great contributions? (Accept all reasonable responses.)
Ask: Who are some people of faith who have made extraordinary contributions to the world? (Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Saint Francis of Assisi, and so on) What prepared these people to make extraordinary contributions to the world? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Say: Today’s Gospel offers to us another example of a person of faith who made an extraordinary contribution to the world: Mary, the mother of Jesus. This Gospel gives us several clues about what prepares a person of faith to do extraordinary things.
Ask: What extraordinary thing was Mary asked to do in this Gospel? (to be the Mother of God’s Son, Jesus) What was Mary’s response? (First she asked how this would be possible, and then she answered yes.) What does this Gospel tell us prepared Mary for her most amazing job? (Mary was said to have been filled with God’s grace even before the angel visited her. The Gospel also says that the Holy Spirit would prepare her to give birth to Jesus.)
Ask: What do you think prepares people of faith, ourselves included, to do extraordinary things in our world? (God’s grace, the Holy Spirit) It is the Holy Spirit working within us that enables ordinary people to make extraordinary contributions in our world. Because Mary was filled with God’s grace, she was able to cooperate with God’s plan for salvation by becoming the mother of Jesus.
Conclude in prayer together for the awareness to be open to God’s grace and the Holy Spirit in order to be able to cooperate in God’s plan for salvation.
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen