The Gospel According to Luke – Annunciation, Canticles and God’s Preparation

December 15, 2007

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sends the mighty Archangel Gabriel to Mary, announcing that this "virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the
house of David," will conceive and bear a son, Jesus (LK 1:26-28). He specifically chooses this Holy Virgin for an absolutely amazing vocation: to be the mother of the Messiah, the instrument through whom the infinite God becomes incarnate.

Great will be his dignity and he
will be called Son of the Most High. The
Lord God will give him the
throne of David his father. He will rule
over the house of Jacob forever and
his reign will be without end.
(32-33)

In this
child, the Messianic Kingdom of David will emerge as "the stone […] hewn
from the mountain without a hand" that shatters all the kingdoms of this
world forever and rules for eternity (Daniel2:44).
According to the tradition of the historic Davidic court, the Queen
mother holds a prominence in the King’s life.
This is all the more true of relationship between Jesus and Mary.

The study
then shifts to how God has provided a safe place for the virgin to spend her
pregnancy, for her parents and neighbors would have thought Mary was crazy or might
even have handed her over to be stoned according to the Law. Moreover, because
God makes Mary’s pregnancy known to Elizabeth, Mary does not have to convince
her cousin that she is to pregnant with the Savior.

Analyzing
the Magnificat reveals that this simple, tender-hearted young woman possessed a
deeply intimate knowledge of Scripture (Lk 46-55).Her Canticle is a wonderful bouquet of many
Psalms and the writings of the Prophets which mirrors the Canticle of Hannah in
1 Samuel. The implications of Mary’s
prayer are truly astounding, as is the connection between Samuel and
John/Jesus. The Canticle of Zechariah is
similarly profound and Luke purposefully includes this prophecy from the
once-mute father of John that alludes to Malachi.

The study
concludes with a look at the preparatory nature of God, who not only profoundly
prepares the way for his Son, but also opens the doors of our hearts and is even
now preparing us to be a people transformed according to his divine plan – if
we but let him in.

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