By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: April 9, 2018
April 9, 2018

Gospel LK 1:26-38

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:

You may recall that in last Monday’s gospel the first words spoken by Jesus to the women who discovered His empty tomb were, “Do not be afraid.”

In today’s gospel, we read about the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will conceive a baby by the power of the Holy Spirit.

After he extends a greeting, the angel says, “Do not be afraid, Mary”

The terms “fear not” or “do not be afraid” appear many times in the Bible.

Our Father in Heaven is aware that we are “afraid” of what we do not understand and of those things and circumstances we cannot control.

Even Saint Peter knew fear:
“So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:29-30

Thirty three years ago, caught in the insidious grip of alcohol, I was afraid. Huddled on my knees, I cried out, “Help me Lord. Please help me.”

As He did with Peter, Christ reached out and raised me to a “new life.”

Our Father sent Jesus to quell our fears and to teach us that the antidote to fear is faith.

No matter our trial or challenge, it is only when we put our faith in Jesus Christ that we are able to echo Mary’s reply to the angel Gabriel:
“May it be done to me according to your word.”

“……fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10



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