Take Up and Read:

Luke 1:26-28

Here's a side-by side comparison of language in Gabriel's greeting. And here is the version from the US Lectionary.

Romans 16:25-27

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16

Encourage One Another:

We consider the Annunciation in the Mass readings twice this Advent. I think perhaps we could consider this passage every day and never run out of beautiful things to ponder in our hearts. Mary would suffer incomprehensible sorrow alongside her joy. Still, she said yes.

Grace is like that. 

Christmas brings both joy and pain.

You belong to the Lord. Grace will find you. Can you recognize it in the hard moments, the ones that don't twinkle like lights on a Christmas tree, but instead reek of the dung in a stable at midnight in the piercing cold? 

With Christmas, most of us will experience sadness and joy, disappointment and jubilation, fear and hope.

So it is with life.

Today is a holy day. A sacred, consecrated, hallowed day. A day full of grace.

Can we recognize the grace Christmas holds for us this year?