The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8, 2017, Sung Mass, by the Rector

There are two Christmas stories in the New Testament. There is one by Luke that begins with the annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel.[1] The other is by Matthew that begins with Joseph having a dream in which an unnamed angel announces to him, “Do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”[2] Now in Luke, Gabriel tells Mary what God plans to do—note carefully: he does not ask for her permission or agreement. In Luke, she responds, “Let it be to me according to your word.”[3] But Mary’s response is beside the point. With respect, God decided that Mary would be the mother of Emmanuel.
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