The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Third Week of Advent
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.
Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora, Jr.):
Today’s Gospel has drawn me to what the angel Gabriel said, “for nothing will be impossible for God.” I believe that in the context of our humanity, whatever that is beyond our doing or making, it can already be considered impossible. On the other hand, I am convinced that something that is impossible which has been done or made is a miracle.
In my more than three years of being in the seminary, I have witnessed so many impossible things. I was able to see a teenager recovered from a serious brain infection. I witnessed reconciliation of relationships. I have been provided with everything that I need, and a lot more.
The experience of Mary in the Gospel is similar to the miracle we experience every day. I believe that today’s Gospel does not only want us to know how the birth of Jesus came to be but it wants us to deepen our understanding of God and how He wants to relate to us.
The Incarnation of Jesus seems to me the way how God wants us to know Him. Our humanity is the simplest way to know God. He became human, like us, through Jesus. There is no need to discover where God is for He resides in all of us.
The birth of Jesus is how He wants to relate to us. He wants us to become a family. God wants us to be His own. I believe that these are some of the reasons why God came to this world and became man. That we may know Him and that we may be one with Him.
The little miracles that I personally experience and witness are some of the means for me to be convinced that God indeed is real. But more than my conviction, it is the presence of God in my life that others would hopefully get to know and to be in a relationship with Him.
The greatest challenge of the Gospel for us is not on what God can do but what we can do to make Him be known to others. God will never abandon us. We should cooperate and participate in His invitation to be one with Him. Perhaps God is inviting you to say your ‘Yes’. Just like Mary, we are assured that God will not leave nor abandon us.