1st Joy of Mary – (Luke 1:26–38)
The Annunciation – Archangel Gabriel tells Mary, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you … you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”
Just imagine being 15 years of age, and having this heavenly being just appear to you out of the blue. I believe it would scare the hell out of me! And then from this apparition to talk to me – WOW! Not only did this spirit talk to me; he said things were more than profound and possible.
Hail is a word that means’s ‘tribute’. So, Gabriel is saying Mary, God not only favors you, but is sending you tributes from heaven, and that HE is at your side, and with you in giving you that tribute. The Angel further goes on and says that Mary has been chosen over all other creation to bring forth a special being for a purpose ONLY God knows at this time.
Mary, a 15-year-old girl, basically said this is not possible. After all, she was still a virgin. But God, in this act, wanted to affirm that through Him, ‘anything‘ is possible. What I think is amazing is that this 15-year-old girl, meek and humble as she was, not only said yes, but said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” What an example of total abandon and dedication to the Lord, and to His will, over ours.
May I learn to live by her example. May I learn to love the Lord as she does. May I learn to love the Blessed Virgin Mary as God loves her. Amen.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Rule # 14:
Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in the Christian spirit of service.