December 20, 2016
Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Advent
The Gospel Today
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. Carmelo V. Pocdol)
My devotion to our Lady is rooted to my birth story. My mother entrusted me to Our Lady when she was in labor because of the imminent danger of my delivery. To be specific, she suffered hemorrhage. And because I was born on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, I was named Carmelo. With that, we always visit and offer prayers at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Ozamis City every July 16.
That devotion grew naturally and was strengthened when I started to serve in the church. Before, I remember that our place in the sanctuary as altar servers was in front of where Our Lady was enshrined. So its like every time I serve in the Mass, I always ask the maternal help of Mary for my struggles in life, and also I gave her honor for the favors I received from her Son, Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel today, we hear the story of the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus. The response of our Mother Mary is ,“ May it be done to me according to your word”. It is the same response that we need to say to God as we continue to listen and follow His will.
I continue to pray for all of us that as we receive the Child Jesus on Christmas Day, may we commit our obedience to His loving will. A blessed Christmas to all!