Sunday, December 21, 2008

The beautiful Annunciation
















Today's scripture recalls my favorite Marian passage, the Annunciation, in the New Testament's Gospel of Luke (1:26-38):

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.

Advent2008.org
provides us with a brief summation of the range of emotions that Our Holy Mother went through regarding her unique pregnancy:

Mary Speaks From the Heart

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." (Luke 1: 46 – 55)

A surprised Mary is afraid

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, 11 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." (Luke 1:30-33)

A perplexed Mary is confused

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." (Luke 1:34 – 37)

An astonished Mary is faithful

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. During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:38-45)



2 comments:

RICHARD K. MUNRO said...

Great Carlos. Lovely Renaissance paints of the Annunciation.

Luke is considered to be one of the great stylists of the New Testament. I have not read it in the original Greek but my father did and I have also read many times that he was the most gifted writer of all the gospel writers.'
He and Paul (apparently) were educated to very high level in Greco-Roman schools. Paul, for examples, makes allusions to his education and the curriculum of the Gymnasium and of course many of his famous quotes are paraphrases or direct quotations of Greek philosophers. One can see parallels for example in the Stoics (Epictetus/Seneca) and in Christian thought.

A great book to read is PAIDIA and another (more recent) is SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD By Robert Louis Wilken

Merry Christmas BUDDY

ALL WILL YET BE WELL

Carlos Echevarria said...

Thank you so much for commenting Richard, your remarks are always edifying and I knew you would appreciate this post.

Luke is my favorite gospel writer, i was unaware of his particular education and will definitely attempt to obtain the book you cited.

Merry Christmas to you, as well...