The Passionists' Compassion

Mary, the Mother of Jesus

The Annunciation

"The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, so highly favored! The Lord is with you.'

"She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her,

'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a Son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end.'

"Mary said to the angel,

'How can this come about, since I am a virgin?'

"'The Holy Spirit will come upon you,' the angel answered, 'and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.'

The Annunciation
The Annunciation - Fra Angelico

"'I am the handmaid of the Lord,' said Mary. 'Let what you have said be done to me.'

"And the angel left her." (Luke 1:26-38)

The Gospels, compiled years after these events at Nazareth, tell the story of Jesus and recall Mary only incidentally. True, St. Luke's account sees Mary favored by God, the Lord's handmaid, a model believer. His story describes her fear and perplexity, her faith and acceptance during the angel's visit. But still, we are left to ourselves to imagine Mary's life and her experience when the angel left her.

The angel's message struck like lightning, changing everthing for her. Immense joy filled the young girl's soul when she conceived the child by the power of the Holy Spirit. But when the angel left, Mary was alone.

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