First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
Today the church focuses on the part that Our Lady played in the story of the lead up to Christmas. In the first reading we have the great prophecy of Isaiah that ‘the maiden is child’ and that soon he shall be born to the world.
The gospel is the story of the Annunciation, the wonderful story where the angel Gabriel is sent to Mary to ask of her that she consent to be the mother of God.
Think of that simple fact for a moment: God sent an angel to ask Mary if she, a child of Israel, if she would consent to be Jesus’ mother.
The Father in heaven treats us with such dignity. He never forces himself upon us; at all times our free will must be respected. This simple fact has a lot of repercussions for those who say there is no hell: God will not force anyone to love him. People have the right to choose hell; it is one of our more unpleasant human rights.
There is a beautiful passage in the Ordo for today and in is worth quoting:
“The faithful who carry the spirit of Advent from the liturgy into their own lives perceive the inexpressible love of the Virgin Mary’s welcoming of her Son. Thus the Advent liturgy leads them to keep Mary before their own eyes as a model and to prepare the way for the coming of the Saviour, with wonder and praise.”