"The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a house in Nazareth to a virgin who was engaged to man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgins' name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and wondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, you relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son and the is the sixth month for here who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."

The Annunciation was a moment of mixed emotions. For Mary, the news came out of the blue – and there was so much to take in. Becoming a mother – with no husband – to give birth to a son who was destined to be great – upon whom God’s blessing would rest. No wonder she asked how this could be.

Sometimes, the news of serious illness comes unexpectedly or at the end of a long series of tests. Either way, it is not something we can properly prepare ourselves for. We feel shock – or simply emptiness – disbelief.

Pray for those who have received an “annunciation” of bad news – or those living in wait or dread of one. 

     Mary, Lady of the Annunciation,
     Gabriel’s words sent you on a journey
     through confusion and bewilderment
     to acceptance and trust in God.
     Pray for those who have had their own annunciation;
     bring a mother’s love and tenderness
     to their fear and distress.

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