Inquiring how the angel knew this, the angel said: “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you the good news.”
In the sixth month Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin named Mary who was betrothed to a man named Joseph of the House of David. The angel said to her: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”
Mary was frightened but Gabriel said: “Do not be afraid for you have found grace with God. You shall conceive and bring forth a son you shall call Jesus who shall be a great man to whom the Lord will give the throne of David and he shall be king over the house of Jacob and his kingdom shall not end .”
How can it be Mary asked for she knew no man. Gabriel told her that the Holy Ghost shall overshadow her and Jesus, the holy one, shall be called the son of God. He told her kinsman Elizabeth was in her sixth month saying “for nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary delighted at the news about Elizabeth who was believed incapable of having a child went to visit her. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice she said she knew the mother of her Lord had come to her for she felt the babe in her womb leap for joy. Mary praised God her Savior for choosing her the most meek and humble of his handmaids noting that all generations thereafter would call her blessed: “He has shown might with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”
After Elizabeth gave birth to John it was Mary’s turn to give birth to Jesus. Due to an order from Caesar Augustus, the Governor of Syria Cyrinus who also ruled over the Palestine area was taking a census. This required people to return to their place of birth. Joseph took the expectant Mary to a jam-packed Bethlehem. She ended up giving birth to Jesus in a manger in a stable. She and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. The inn was too crowded.
An angel appeared to shepherds in the nearby fields saying: “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people for today a Savior has been born to you who is Christ the Lord.” Suddenly a multitude of heavenly host joined the angel saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.”
The angel of the Lord said “peace among men of good will.” Will such men exist in America in 2017? Will we be beset by the proud with conceit in their hearts, the mighty, and the rich? Time will tell but for now have a Merry Christmas and let us hope it is not the last one.