• An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
Follow us on: Richmond Catholic Parish Google+
Under the care of the Jesuits
You are here: Home News & Events Archives
Mary's decision PDF Print E-mail

24 December 2017: Fourth Sunday of Advent

You will conceive and bear a son

The angel and MaryWhat a contrast between this history, marked by human inadequacies, and the consent of Mary, opening the way to the glorious fulfilment of old Israel’s hopes. The gospel account of Mary’s encounter with God’s messenger, we should note, is not a visual description – as suggested by familiar paintings. Taking the form of a dialogue, it spells out the decision in which Mary – putting aside her puzzlement and the uncertainties associated with the future into which she was being invited – gave her wholehearted consent. This consent, it is clear, is possible through God’s ‘grace’ and favour: ‘Rejoice so highly favoured’, is the greeting brought by God’s messenger. The narrative makes it clear that this beginning owes nothing to human standing or achievement. By human standards, Mary is an insignificant slip of a girl – fourteen or fifteen was the usual age of betrothal. She comes from Nazareth, an obscure village of about 150 souls, not even mentioned in the Old Testament. But the passing of time will bring to light how great were God’s gifts, and how total was Mary’s heroic response – making her the mother of the Saviour, the model of discipleship – indeed the Mother of the whole family of discipleship...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series