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25 March 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1.26-38

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. It may be Lent, but it’s also only nine months to Christmas!

In Passiontide week when the clouds are gathering towards Jesus’ suffering and death, our reading takes us to Nazareth, to the home of Mary, to where she is visited by the Angel Gabriel, who tells her the Holy Spirit is to rest upon her, and the most high God is to overshadow her. She is to bear a child who will be the Son of God, who will establish the Lord’s reign on earth, Kingdom of God for ever. And with incredible courage and obedience, Mary says, ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’

Like Mother, like Son. So Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane will say, ‘Father, for you all things are possible, remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want’. We should seek the courage and the obedience to respond to God’s call on our lives in the way Jesus did, and in the way his mother Mary had done, at his Annunciation.

Pray today for those of us who are facing big challenges. We know what we should do, but have we the courage to do it? We know what to say to God – ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’

I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you as you read this and bring new life to you, as well as new hope and a fresh vision of God and of his Kingdom. May the Holy Spirit strengthen you and give you wisdom to face whatever is before you today.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1.26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.