In today’s Gospel we hear extraordinary words! We hear of fulfilled promises, of God dwelling in our midst, of a young woman who is asked to consider her part in the story of salvation. “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son”. Yes, Mary has found favor with God and so God enables a young woman to be God’s dwelling!
God’s tender mercy is made manifest and heaven’s dawn is about to break upon us because Jesus, Emmanuel, God With Us is in our midst. Mary’s pondering simply pleads “how can this be” and the extraordinary response is, “the Holy Spirit will come upon you”. Yes, the power of God will dwell upon Mary and it is God’s work that will be done. The announcement of the wonders of God in her and in her cousin, Elizabeth, is met with, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord”.
What can this extraordinary promise of God With Us mean for us today? Perhaps it can remind us of endless and amazing possibilities for when we say yes to God, God can and does marvelous things. We, too, are able to be God’s dwelling, God’s work and God’s hope for salvation. As we continue our Advent journey into the Christmas season, may we “behold” the wonders of God’s presence among us and with us and may we also have found favor with God.