20 December
Lk 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Let Meister Eckhart provide the commentary on today’s familiar reading.  (We saw parts of this passage yesterday.)

“If anyone were to ask me, Why do we pray, why do we fast, why do we do all our works, why are we baptised, why (most important of all) did God become incarnate? – I would answer, in order that God may be born in the soul and the soul be born in God.  For that reason all the scriptures were written; for that reason God created the world and all angelic natures: so that God may be born in the soul and the soul be born in God….

“‘The angel was called Gabriel’…. He angel took the name 'Gabriel' from the work of which he was a messenger, for ‘Gabriel’ means 'power of God’…. No one can know an angel's name. No master and no understanding ever got to where an angel received his name: perhaps he is nameless….     

“The soul, too, has no name.  Just as no one can find a true name for God, so none can find the soul's true name, although mighty tomes have been written about this.  But she is given a name according as she has a regard to her activity. 

“In this birth God works powerfully…. In God there is plenitude of power, therefore in his birth he produces his like.  All that God is in power, truth and wisdom, he bears altogether in the soul.”

“‘The angel was called Gabriel’…. The angel took the name 'Gabriel' from the work of which he was a messenger, for ‘Gabriel’ means 'power of God’…. No one can know an angel's name. No master and no understanding ever got to where an angel received his name: perhaps he is nameless….     

“The soul, too, has no name.  Just as no one can find a true name for God, so none can find the soul's true name, although mighty tomes have been written about this.  But she is given a name according as she has a regard to her activity. 

“In this birth God works powerfully…. In God there is plenitude of power, therefore in his birth he produces his like.  All that God is in power, truth and wisdom, he bears altogether in the soul.”

 

 
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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 

 

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