The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God."
As if it was not enough that an Angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, it then spoke in a language she understood.
Greetings, you who are highly favoured
Or as no doubt the angel would have said today "Hi, God loves you."
Along comes an angel, not something you ever expect to see, and then they greet you as if you know each other, as if it's a totally ordinary thing to do and conversation to have.
If she was not overwhelmed beforehand, this certainly troubled her, as Luke makes clear.
I wonder how Mary responded such that Luke would recall that she was greatly troubled and wondered what the greeting was. I'm thinking physical and emotional shock manifesting in the way we often see, knees weakening, words fleeing and eyes opened wide.
Put yourself back in the everyday situation we thought of yesterday.
I'm in my chair with my laptop on the floor and my mouth agape. I know my own reactions to shock, I loose the power of speech and go stock-still.
And then the angel speaks again; "Don't be afraid, God loves you especially", or words to that effect.
You seriously mean me?
There must be a mistake.
I'm nothing special, I'm just me.
The thing is we each are known and loved especially by God, maybe we are not called in such a dramatic way as Mary, but we are loved just as we are. This is the focus of today, to remind ourselves that Mary had to come to terms with being chosen; and so must we.
Prayer for the day
Father help us hear your voice. Give us faith through our loneliness when you seem far away, and joy in your love when we know you are close by at our sides. Lord, we know you are always with us, let us know this inwardly in our lives and follow you wherever you lead us. Amen.