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Faith Daily | 25 March 2021

PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Five

We thank you heavenly Father,

that you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

we pray that

as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his presence abiding in us he may raise us

to joys eternal;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who lives ad reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen APBA p490

GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 1: 26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He 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. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’* 35The 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. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Neville Eckersley

This announcement to Mary by Gabriel is no less than the arrival of the long-awaited Kingdom of the One God, the promise the Jewish nation had held dear for centuries.

Luke has just given us as a prologue the story of the conception of John the Baptist, the herald of the Kingdom. Now we have the major player’s arrival on stage- Son of David, the Son of God, the King of the Kingdom.

Mary is very probably a mid -teenager, and so of marriageable age in those times. She is engaged to Joseph, but not yet married. She is a very practical young woman, so when told by Gabriel that she will bear a son, she asks how this can happen because she is still a virgin. Gabriel reassures her that God can do this (verse35) and that as a sign, her previously barren kinswoman Elizabeth, is now unexpectedly six months pregnant.

Did Mary know about the wonderful news of Elizabeth’s pregnancy? For whatever reason, at this point Mary gives her beautiful obedient response to Gabriel in verse 38. She trusts God and brushes aside the realistic concerns of the possible reactions of Joseph, her family, his family and the whole village of Nazareth who could legally stone her to death for alleged adultery, evidenced by her pregnancy outside marriage.

This is a very brave young woman trusting God that he can do the impossible.

“Let it be for me as you say” verse 38.

How can we come to know and trust God as this wonderful young woman did?

And see what happened when she did trust Him!

FINAL PRAYER: Collect Prayer for the Annunciation

We beseech you, O Lord,

pour your grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the incarnation

of your Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel,

so by his cross and passion

we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


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