THE Gospel of Luke (1:26-290 says: In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean….
On a personal note, the first two chapters of the Gospel are, like the beginning of Matthew’s, an account of the infancy of Jesus. The spirit, however, is entirely different. Matthew uses without scruple stories that were not authenticated, but were in the tradition of “infancies of saints” that circulated among Jews and he used them to show what the mission of Jesus would be. Luke also gives us an account that is first of all theological but faced on facts. In doing that he uses a very ancient document familiar to the Christian communities of Palestine. We find seven tableaux in the first two chapter.
-birth of John;
-Jesus in the Temple.
The account of the annunciation of Jesus marks the difference from John in his person and in his mission.
How considerate God is towards humans! He does not save them without their consent. The Savior is expected and welcomed by a mother: a young girl accepts to be the servant of the Lord and becomes the mother of God.
The virgin’s name was Mary (v.27 ). Luke uses the word virgin. Why did he not say a young girl or a woman? Simply because he was referring to the words of the prophets stating that God would be received by the virgin of Israel. For centuries God endured thousands of infidelities from the people, and had forgiven their sins.
At his coming, the Savior was to be welcomed by a “virgin” people, that is, a people fully consecrated to him. In Jesus’ time many people concluded that the Messiah would be born of a virgin mother when they read the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. Now then, the Gospel says: Mary is The Virgin.
The one who, from the beginning, was chosen by God to welcome his only Son through an act of perfect faith, had to be a virgin. She, who was to give Jesus his blood, his hereditary traits, his character, his first education, must have grown under the shadow the Almighty like a secret flower belonging to no one else, who had made of her whole life a gift of God.
How can this be? (v. 34). The angel states that the baby will be born of Mary without Joseph’s intervention. The one to be born of Mary in time is the same one who exits in God, born of God, Son of the Father (see John 1:1).
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Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 28, 2017.