25 March is the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when the archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, telling her she was to become the Mother of Christ.
26 … the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favour! The Lord is with you.'The Annunciation is the joint patronal feast day of our parish church. It also happens to be the birthday of someone closely connected with this blog!
29 She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, 30 but the angel said to her, 'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favour. 31 Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. 32 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; 33 he will rule over the House of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end.'
34 Mary said to the angel, 'But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?'
35 The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, 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. 36 And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, 37 for nothing is impossible to God.'
38 Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen