STATIONS OF THE NATIVITY: Annunciation, by Raymond Chapman

From Stations of the Nativity: Meditations on the Incarnation of Christ

Before the Stations

Almighty God, whose blessed Son took our human nature so that we might regain our lost innocence and be restored to the divine image that was disfigured by sin, grant that as we meditate on the mystery of his humanity we may share the glory of his divinity, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever.

Amen.


A hymn may be sung: the familiar Christmas hymns tell of the wonder of the Incarnation and the following is particularly suitable (click on hymn title to be directed to the YouTube video of its performance):

In The Bleak Midwinter


2: Annunciation

V: We adore thee O Christ and we bless thee.
R: Because by thy wonderful Nativity thou hast given us new birth.

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.”  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.”  Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 2: part of verses 26-37)

In the Old Testament narratives angels are sent to make known a great work that God is about to perform.  The births of Isaac and of Samson are announced in this way.  Now the angel Gabriel comes to a young woman in a small town to tell her of the most wonderful birth in all history.  After her first alarm and incredulity, she calmly believes and accepts the will of God.

We give thanks for the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our pattern of purity, humility, and absolute trust.  As she knew by the message of an angel that she would be the mother of the Incarnate Son of God, give us grace to hear your word and follow your call, whether it be to little or great work in your service.

We do not trust in what the power of God can do with our weakness.  We think that we can find our own way, instead of seeking to follow where you are leading.  Forgive our slowness of mind and hardness of heart, and make us your servants according to your word in our own time and place.

V: God sent his Son into the world.
R: To bring us to eternal life.
V: Let us bless the Lord.
R: Thanks be to God.

On an ordinary spring day, she did not expect anything to happen because she was one of the quiet people who ask for little.

Lords of a higher creation did not pass that way until an angel, shafted in new season sunlight, spoke to her with the Heavenly salutation of her Maker, Father of all sending the uncreated, the only-begotten, to be the newly-begotten, the weak and vulnerable.

The power of the Spirit, unseen, overshadowing, the still small voice more powerful than thunder, breathed life into the womb of innocence, Son of the Highest, son of a virgin.

She bowed beneath the Word’s weight told and graciously accepted uncovenanted grace.

When we are too busy to notice them, angels may pass through the familiar room sometimes with human voices, sometimes in silent love, calling, promising, pointing the way – because things happen when God wills them and not when we think it is appropriate.

When the will is rebellious, may I know the obedience of Mary.

When pride builds a wall around me, may I know the humility of Mary.

When the flesh is weak and clamorous, may I know the purity of Mary.


After the Stations

Almighty God, grant to us, who have followed our Lord through the time of his coming to Earth, the peace promised by the angels, the simple trust of the shepherds, the wise discernment of the Magi, and the love of the Holy Family in our homes and in all our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Savior,

Amen.


A hymn may be sung: see above.


A priest who is present may give this blessing, or the people may say it together, saying, us, for, you.

May God give you grace to follow the example of Christ, and bring you through the power of his Incarnation to eternal life, and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.


annunciation-feast-virgin-mary-jpg

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