Announcements are central to our lives, especially during this time of Covid. We wait from day to day for news of what is going to happen next in every area of life. We wait for announcements on: rising or falling numbers of Covid deaths daily, travel restrictions, opening of crèches’, schools and colleges, dates and times of administration of vaccines, return to Church liturgies, sports fixtures, opening of restaurants, spread of the virus and much more. What announcement are you waiting to hear? Somehow, we never give up hope as we wait from one day to the next. We learn patience and trust, even though we may feel despondent.
The first reading from the prophet Isaiah (Is 7: 10-14. 8:10) proclaims at Mass today the prophecy about the Virgin giving birth. People consider this one of the most important prophecies of Scripture. The prophet announces, ‘The Lord himself therefore will give you a sign… the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means, ‘God-is-with-us.’
The response to Psalm 39 sums up the disciples’ mission in life, ‘Here I am Lord! I come to do your will.’
In the second reading from Hebrews (Heb 10:4-10), Scripture proclaims how Jesus came to do his Father’s will. He did this by laying down his life for all. God calls each one to do his will. That means, we follow the way of Jesus in loving God and one another. In prayer, we listen to what God asks of us.
The Gospel (Lk 1: 26-38), proclaims Mary’s response to God. Angel Gabriel came to Mary with an announcement from God. Gabriel announces good news to a highly favoured woman. Gabriel greets Mary, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured!’ This was the moment of decision of the destiny of the world. God chose Mary as favoured and beloved. Disturbed at first by the angel’s invitation, Mary recognised the divine revelation of her unique calling. Mary heard in the announcement what the angel said about Jesus. He is Saviour and he will be great. He will be son of David and Son of the Most High. Mary’s response is definite. She boldly expresses her faith and surrenders saying, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord.’ In offering this invitation to Mary to become the Mother of his Son, God loved Mary with a greater love than God had for any other creature. Hence Mary is called full of grace. She is full of grace and has a role in our salvation. God’s grace teaches us to do God’s will.
Today God’s people celebrate Mary as the first disciple, the one who said yes to God. She is the model for all disciples.
Each time we pray the Angelus we recall the sacred moment when Gabriel called Mary to be Mother of God. Let us reflect on Mary’s beauty, faith, care, courage and confidence.
This Scripture is explored in every stage of the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé programme. The themes include prayer, discipleship, devotion to Mary, and striving to do God’s will. VERITAS provides accompanying online resources to support the theme of the Annunciation, including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books.
- Hail Mary/ ‘S é do bheatha a Mhuire
- The Angelus/ Fáilte don Aingeal
- The Magnificat
- From your Bible or from the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé e-book read the story of the Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38)
- You might pray the first Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, The Annunciation on your Rosary Beads. Invite members of your family to join you in prayer
- How many words can you find in the word ‘Annunciation’
- Today, listen to all the announcements in your family and on the news
- Is there an announcement you would like to make?
- Do you think God desires to make an announcement to you? What might it be? Share it with your family.
Sr Anne Neylon