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Opinion

The Announcement of the Birth of Jesus

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila -

It’s the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day is just around the corner … so the gospel reading today is about the Annunciation or the announcement of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, which you can read in your Bible in Luke 1:26-38.

“26 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? 35 And the angel said to her in reply, “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. 36 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; 37 for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.”

***

Because we’re limited to this story in scriptures, perhaps you may be wondering why our Blessed Immaculate Mother, upon hearing the greeting of the Angel Gabriel without any hesitation, completely succumbed to God’s will and told the angel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then after the angel departed, she did her “Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary” a.k.a. the Magnificat.

But you must know that prior to the arrival of the Messiah, the Jews were literally anticipating His coming at any time already. It is akin to a nation infanticipating a child. Yes, both betrothed spouses Joseph and Mary were not yet living with each other, which is why Mary queried the angel “How can this be since I have no relations with man?”The angel Gabriel replied 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 called Holy, the Son of God.”

Overshadowing is a common term in the Old Testament where the Spirit of God or as the Jews would say; God’s Shekinah Glory, overshadowed the Tent that housed the Holy of Holies. Shekinah in Hebrew means, “He caused to dwell or a divine visitation.” This Shekinah Glory first appeared in Egypt as the Israelites were trapped between the Egyptian army of Pharaoh and the Red Sea, where a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night guided the Israelites and put itself between them and the Egyptians.

It is this same glory cloud that would appear in Mt. Tabor where God told the disciples that He was pleased with His only Son. This is the glory cloud that overshadowed our Blessed Virgin Mary, which is why she is considered the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary somewhat startled her because the angel greeted her with the words, “Hail! Favored one,” which in the original Greek was “Chaire Kecharitomene” literally translated into English as “Hail! Made full of Grace.” Perhaps you already forgot that last Dec. 8th we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception where we learned that, upon the moment of conception in the womb of Mama Mary’s mother Ann, she was already freed from effects of original sin. Hence she was “made full of grace” for God desired that His only begotten Son should be born with a sinless woman to maintain His heavenly purity.

As famous author of the book “Crossing the Tiber” Steve Ray whom we had the honor to interview twice on my TV Show said, “When one is full of grace there could be no room for sin!” Then Steve Ray gave a demonstration of a glass that was half filled with water then he said, “If water is sin, then the glass is half full of sin and half of grace.” But as he poured the water into overflowing, he then said, “There’s no room for sin.”

In reading the Scriptures we only see two characters, Mama Mary and the angel Gabriel. But in truth in my eyes of faith, the Holy Trinity and the host of angels were present to witness this mystical union between God and man. This is why John said, “And the Word became flesh!

***

Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com

ANGEL ANGEL GABRIEL GOD HOLY SPIRIT LORD. MAY MAMA MARY MARY MOST HIGH
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