The opening statement of our Sunday Gospel introduces a list of seven names: Gabriel, God, Galilee, Nazareth, Joseph, David, and Mary.
Seven, the number precisely of totality, because what is about to happen will involve all of history, the depths of heaven, and all the perennial swarming of life.
A countercultural Gospel: for the first time in the Bible, an angel addresses a woman in an ordinary house and not in the sanctuary, in her kitchen, and not among the golden candelabra of the temple.
Rejoice! Joy is a beautiful way to greet someone.
Here is why: Mary, you are full of grace. You are filled with heaven, not because you said “yes” to God, but because God first said “yes” to you. That “yes” has been extended to each of us before our responses.
So, it’s about grace upon grace and not merit or calculation. God is not deserved; he is welcomed!
All humanity, tenderly, loved forever. The Lord is with you. This expression is filled with grace and future. He entrusts a beautiful but arduous task, calling Mary to a story of thrills and courage. You will name him Jesus (Another first: only the Father had the power to name).
God’s word is the Gospel because it brings divine life inside the ordinary, inside the human heart, giving heavenly life for each day, turning the ordinary back into a breath of eternal life.
And the word became flesh and lived among us.