Daily Gospel Reflection: Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Bishop Robert Barron
December 20, 2023
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Gospel: Lk 1:26-38
In the sixth month, 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she has been chosen to be the mother of God.
In the face of this overwhelming word, Mary is confused: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And she cannot begin to imagine the full consequences of accepting this invitation: shame, exile, violent pursuit, the final agony on Calvary.
And yet, despite her fear and despite the darkness, she says, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” At the crucial moment, Mary of Nazareth allows herself to fall in love with God, and in that moment of ecstasy, the Son of God enters the world for its salvation.
The human tragedy began with Adam and Eve’s grasp; the divine comedy commences with Mary’s letting-go. This is why the medieval commentators, with their delicious sense of the co-penetration of all parts of the Bible, observed that the “Ave” of the angel of the Annunciation reverses “Eva,” the mother of all the living.