Isaiah 7: 10-14
Luke 1: 26-38


“God’s Loving Initiative – Mary’s Response”

We have all seen pictures of the wonderful painting by Michaelangelo in the Sistine Chapel where God reaches down to the first man Adam and the hands of God and man touch as Adam is created. Adam seems to look up in wonder and surprise!

The readings today show us in like wonder – God reaching down to bring to fruition his great plan to Renew our fallen nature, and our weak human nature reaching out in Mary to say “Yes” to God’s Love.

The angel Gabriel comes as the bearer of Good News.

“Rejoice, so highly favoured ! The Lord is with you!” He is repeating the promise of Immanuel  – “God-is-with-us” of the prophet Isaiah.

Mary was deeply disturbed at the vision of the angel and had to be reassured:    “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.”

Then the angel tells Mary: ”You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.”

And Mary accepts God’s gracious invitation with humble trust and faith. “ I am the working girl of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me.”

Let us listen with wonder in our hearts to the Greatness of God’s Love and Mercy for our world in sending us his Son. Let us also ask Mary – as the poet calls her “our tainted nature’s solitary boast” – to help us to receive Christ with love and devotion into our hearts and lives this Christmas !

Pat McIndoe CP, a Passionist at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boroko, Port Moresby