Luke 1:26-38

God has given us many proofs of his love but one of the most important is his incarnation.  When love is total and true.  God’s love and closeness for us is such that he has become a creature in the womb of the Virgin Mary

Six months is the allusion to the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist. Neither Elizabeth nor Mary is a likely candidate for motherhood. Elizabeth is too old, so John’s birth will require a miracle. Mary is a virgin, so Jesus’ birth will require an even greater miracle.

Mary is front-and-center in this story. The Greek word parthenos clearly means virgin or maiden, an unmarried chaste woman. In the preceding story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Luke tells of that couple’s religious virtue, but nothing is said of Mary’s faith or character, nothing that helps us to understand why God chose her. God chooses whom God chooses. God is free to choose. God is free to act. God chooses a lowly person in a lowly place to contrast with the glory of the Son of the Most High, who will “reign over the house of Jacob forever”.

She has the mission to conceive, give birth and name the child Jesus. “Iesous” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Joshua which means “The Lord saves” or “Salvation comes from the Lord.

God calls Mary to be mother of the Lord, but calls every mother to raise her child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God desires, not the skill of our hands, but the love of our hearts. The person who has only the ability to love God and neighbor is all-important in God’s economy.

God offers mercy but no life of ease. For Mary, God’s favor didn’t bring prosperity or comfort. Instead, she conceived a child before she was married, fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous plan, and saw her son die on a cross.

~Fr. Chesco