At that time, Elizabeth, the wife of Zachariah conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”
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 the angel came to her and said, “Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women!” 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 favor 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 shall this be, since I have known no man?”
And 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 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 handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
And the angel departed from her.
1. What is the name of the angel in this Gospel reading?
2. What role do angels play in God’s world?
3. What is the name of Mary’s relative who is pregnant?
4. Elizabeth’s child grew up, and baptized Jesus in the river Jordan. Do you know his name? 25, 2007
5. Why do you think we read this Gospel today? What will happen nine months from today?
6. How did Mary respond to the amazing news from the angel? What can we learn from her response?
7. A “handmaid” is a servant. During the Divine Liturgy, when do we hear the word “servant” or “handmaid” with our own names? Who do we serve?