Glimpses of God's Goodness are published for all Sundays and Feast Days at www.sndden.org, the international website of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
December 24, 2023
Luke 1: 26-38
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Being a “servant” or a “handmaid” of the Lord certainly does not mean having all the answers to what God has in mind. Rather it does mean being open, willing, trusting of God’s action in one’s life!
Gabriel announces: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
Mary was “troubled at what was said” and pondered at “what sort of greeting” this might be.
Gabriel continues: “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 his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary asks: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
Gabriel answers: “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 is impossible for God.”
Mary says: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Mary’s attitudes, or ways of being remind me about what Jesus teaches in the “Sermon on the Mountain – Mt. 5-7” or “Sermon on the Plain – Lk. 6:17-49.”
It is easy to see that Mary and Joseph’s “attitudes” helped shape the child, Jesus, as he continues to grow “in wisdom, statue and favor with God and man. —Lk. 2:52.”
For further reflection: Take a few moments to reflect on your reactions and responses to Gabriel’s message from God. Will you allow yourself to be … “the handmaid (servant) of the Lord — today, tomorrow and beyond.
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 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 favored! 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 favor. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must 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
Sister Angele Lewis has been a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for over 50 years. In 1974, she was missioned to Notre Dame High School, Belmont. Her years at Belmont confirmed for Sister Angele that she is a teacher at heart. She taught for over 26 years in Notre Dame elementary and high schools and in local parish education programs on the West and East coasts of the United States. She also spent over 27 years providing graphic arts, design and print, video and social media services for non-profit agencies and for the International Communications Office of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.