Advent Week 4
Birth and Hope
Holy is His name by John Michael Talbot
A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (LK 1:26-38)
Response: Glory to you O Lord.
You will conceive and bear a son.
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town
in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man
named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s
name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so
highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply
disturbed by these words and asked herself what this
greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do
not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must
The Annunciation by John Collier
name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
The Gospel of the Lord
Response: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
This Gospel scene of the Annunciation is a very familiar one. It depicts in a vivid way the intervention of God, into human history. How is this done? St. Luke tells us that the incarnation of the Divine occurs through a respectful conversation: containing a greeting, an invitation, a question and a response. The account of the Annunciation can be read both as an historical event wherein Jesus the Son of God was born of Mary and also as a contemporary happening. We are all called to continue the birthing of God in our world today. The scene of the Annunciation shows us how this might occur through our respectful conversations and human encounters which invite the other to awaken to the life-giving presence of the Spirit within the other.