“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be” – Luke 1:28-29

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke recalls the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel. Through this miraculous event, Mary comes to know that God has chosen her to carry and nurture the son of God. Mary is initially startled by the angel’s appearance and greeting and questions the possibility of this miracle. Quickly, however, Mary comes embrace her role in God’s plan, humbly answering Gabriel by saying “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” 

Despite years studying theology and working in ministry, I did not intimately understand the sentiment of vocation until I found out that I would become a parent. Not unlike Mary, I was initially overwhelmed by the logistics of the event: How did this happen? What does this mean? Am I enough? While I would like to say I had the composure and faith of Mary, my anxieties and insecurities initially inhibited me from seeing the invitation God had given me to find fulfillment of myself through caring for another. I was not able to acknowledge and appreciate this call from God until my wife reminded me that we do not need to know how to be perfect parents, but we need to choose to love our daughter each day.

Mary may not fully understand the full extent of what it meant to be the mother of God when the Gabriel appeared to her, but her faith led to trust and commit each day to answering God’s call. The grace of the annunciation is not just in the one “yes” from Mary, but in the million that will follow as she lives into God’s plan for her.

All Knowing God, give me the confidence, humility, and trust to answer Your call this day, and every day to come.


Ben Horgan

To view the full Advent 2021 booklet in English, click here.

For Spanish, click here.

For French, click here.

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