The angel went to her and said,
“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.
“May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Lord, Light in our darkness,
you shine upon us as the morning star of hope. Light of the World,
Christ announced to Mary as gift,
come, transform us,
create us as gifts to one another
and to all creation. PHNC
“The Word that took root
in the darkness of Mary’s womb,
that took flesh
and walked around in this world;
that emerged not only in the labouring of a woman
but also in the labouring of generations to follow, the ancient Word that springs forth anew.
This Word seeks to dwell deeply in us,
to be born into the world through us
in this and every season.”
“The Luminous Word:
Living the Advent Hours,”
THE PRAISES OF MARY (Iona)
My heart praises the Lord; my soul is glad because of God my Saviour
for he has remembered his lowly servant; from now on, all people will call me blest, because of the great things the mighty God has done for me.
His name is holy; from one generation to another he shows mercy to those who honour him. He has stretched out his mighty arm and scattered the proud with all their plans.
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones. He has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors and has come to the help of his servant people. He has remembered to show mercy to our forebears, and to all generations that follow.
It is no wonder that Mary’s song of praise
has become one of the church’s most potent prayers.
Traditionally recited in the evening at the close of vespers,
it prods us to reflect upon how we have responded,
this very day,
to God’s call.
Have we tried to ignore it,
relying instead on our status, wealth or power?
Or have we been poor and simple enough to receive it
and take it to heart?
O God, for whom we long
as a woman in labour longs for her delivery; give us the courage to wait,
and the strength and discernment to know the right time; that we might each bring into the world your joyful peace through Jesus Christ. Amen. Janet Morley
MARY – A Meditation, after hearing Simeon’s Words
Why wasn’t I bursting with happiness?
Well, I was , of course, part of me anyway, but there was so much still that I didn’t understand…especially with those visitors afterwards,
those strangers from the East with their lavish gifts. It was gratifying, obviously, not every child gets that sort of attention, after all.
But what made them come? – that’s what I kept asking.What did their homage signify?
Don’t think I’m ungrateful, but I really wish sometimes Jesus could have been an ordinary child, and the three of us just left to enjoy our happiness –
no fuss, no angels, no promises,
simply the joy of being together.
Any last chance of that disappeared after Simeon’s words…“… and a sword shall pierce your heart also”, that curious warning about the future.
I’ve tried not to let it get to me;
I’ve wanted to count my blessings
and thank God for all I’ve been given.
But there’s a price to pay for loving this child. I’ve a dreadful feeling that being God’s servant, of accepting God’s will and being a part of God’s Kingdom,
involves paying a price I’d rather not pay. Nick Fawcett