The Annunciation

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
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,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
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.
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;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

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.
(Luke 1:26-38)

Scripture Study

1:26 in the sixth month Occurs six months after Elizabeth conceived (v. 24). a town of Galilee called Nazareth A small agricultural village to the southwest of the Sea of Galilee. Nazareth has been inhabited continuously since the third century bc.

1:27 a virgin Luke calls Mary a virgin twice in this verse to demonstrate that Jesus’ conception was an act of God (see vv. 34–35; Matt 1:23). betrothed At this time, betrothal represented a permanent relationship nearly equivalent to marriage; breaking off a betrothal required a decision akin to divorce. of the house of David Luke alludes to Isa 11:1–2 to portray Jesus as the shoot and branch of Jesse. This portrays Jesus as the Messiah, from King David’s line. (David was Jesse’s son.)

1:28 The Lord is with you Recalls “Immanuel” (“God with us”) from Isa 7:14, which was already alluded to in Luke 1:27 (compare Matt 1:23).

1:30 Do not be afraid A common heavenly greeting and message of reassurance found throughout the Bible (e.g., vv. 30; 2:10; Judg 6:23; Dan 10:12; Rev 1:17).

1:31 Jesus From the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “Yahweh is help (or, salvation)” (see Matt 1:21).

1:32 Son of the Most High Highlights Jesus’ divinity and royalty (compare Luke 1:35, 76). give him the throne of David Gabriel implies that Jesus will fulfill the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:12–13).

1:33 the house of Jacob A common OT phrase referring to Israel (e.g., Exod 19:3; Isa 48:1). his kingdom there will be no end Gabriel again alludes to the Davidic covenant (compare note on Luke 1:32), but this allusion also evokes messianic imagery from Daniel (Dan 7:13-14).

1:34 I have no relations with a man Luke calls Mary a virgin twice in this verse to demonstrate that Jesus’ conception was an act of God (see vv. 34–35; Matt 1:23).

1:35 Son of God This title reflects Jesus’ miraculous conception and, consequently, His divinity.

1:36 in her old age See vv. 7, 18. sixth month See v. 26. who was called barren See v. 7.

1:38 I am the handmaid of the Lord Mary indicates that she is willing to do whatever God requires of her.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel of Luke, we find the Annunciation to Mary. Here is what Gabriel said to the Virgin: “Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus…The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

No first-century Israelite would have missed the meaning here: this child shall be the fulfillment of the promise made to King David.

And this means that the child is, in fact, the king of the world, the one who would bring unity and peace to the nations. The conviction grew upon Israel that this mysterious descendent of David would be king, not just for a time and not just in an earthly sense, but would rule forever and for all nations. This definitive king of the Jews would be king of the world. He would be our king, as well.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.