FIRST READING

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive. ”

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 7: 10-14)

In those days: The Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hearthen, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God is with us].”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Psalm 24: 1-2.3-4ab.5-6 (R. see 7c, 10c)

R/. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,

the world, and all who dwell in it.

It is he who set it on the seas;

on the rivers he made it firm. R/.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

The clean of hands and pure of heart,

whose soul is not set on vain things. R/.

R/. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,

and right reward from the God who saves him.

Such are the people who seek him,

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. Alleluia. O Key of David! You open the gates of the eternal Kingdom: come and lead us out of the prison where we sit in darkness. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“You will conceive in your womb and bear a son.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 1 :26-38)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He 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 father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I know not man?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon, you, and the power of the Most High will over shadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the hand maid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. ”And the angel departed from her

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

For a Christian believer, the annunciation of the birth of the Lord Jesus is the most significant moment in history. World history thus gets divided into two – history before Christ and history after Christ. God’s own Son takes flesh and becomes a human being in the womb of a humble woman. God prepares this woman, preserving her as immaculate and full of grace in order to receive and give birth to the Son of God in this world. The woman, Mary, submits to the plan of God in total obedience and availability, saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” The incarnation of the Son of God becomes a reality. The word became flesh. God’s plan for the salvation of the world reaches its final stage. Underlying all these is God’s unconditional love for sinful humanity. Do I believe in God’s unconditional love for me?

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