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.
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
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I know by faith
that these are some of the most important moments
of my day. I freely open my mind, heart and
will for you to do as you please, because
I know you can desire and do only what is
good for me. I know that you will give
me the grace to do whatever you ask of me
and that you will always accompany me. That is
enough for me.
Petition: Lord, give me the grace
to do your holy will.
1. Pleasing God through the
Small, Daily Tasks: The angel Gabriel finds Mary doing
nothing extraordinary, but rather doing ordinary tasks like washing clothes,
sweeping, getting water, doing the same daily prayer as
every devout Jew. But in doing the ordinary she
is doing what is pleasing to God. Her example should
be our guide. Work can be an ordinary means
of holiness. Man, as Blessed John Paul II said,
“not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs,
but he also achieves fulfillment as a human
being and indeed, in a sense, becomes ‘more a human
being’” (Laborem Exercens, no. 9). We please God when we
do our duties, fulfill our responsibilities, work to meet
our basic needs. While we may not be doing
something extraordinary at every moment, we still praise and glorify
God when we undertake the ordinary with love. If
an angel were to come looking for me, would
he find me doing my daily tasks lovingly?
2. “Do Not
Be Afraid!” - Mary “was greatly troubled and pondered what
sort of greeting this might be.” When God presents
us with his plan, we too might be afraid.
We may not fully understand what he has in mind.
It can seem that his plan is too great
for us. But when God wants something from us, he
shows us that it is not beyond our reach.
As with Mary at the Incarnation, God will make it
happen and will provide all the grace necessary for
3. “May It Be Done to Me
According to Your Word” - When Gabriel clarifies Mary’s
mission and illustrates that with God all things are possible,
Mary makes an act of faith. Her act of
faith is what the Second Vatican Council terms the
‘obedience of faith’. The obedience of faith “is to
be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which
man commits his whole self freely to God, offering
the full submission of intellect and will to God
who reveals, and freely assenting to the truth revealed by
Him” (Dei Verbum, 5). God supplied Mary with his
grace and did not abandon her; nor will he abandon
us. When we do what God wants and cooperate
with his plan, he will support us. He will accompany
us as we carry out his will and bring
his plan to fulfillment. God’s will is our holiness,
and when we do his will we help God to
make us saints.
Conversation with Mary: Mary, teach me how to
do God’s will as you did, so that I
can remain in his company. I want to do his
will, even though at times I know that it
may seem difficult or impossible. Ask your son for the
grace of perseverance for me so that I, too,
may cooperate with the Lord, whether he is asking
something of me that is ordinary or extraordinary.
In a difficult situation, I will pray a “Hail Mary,”
asking Mary for help in being faithful.