Two Mornings, An Advent Story of Mary: Part Eleven


Mary had asked the angel Gabriel, “Why would God choose me”

Gabriel replied, “I am only the messenger. I simply go where I am sent, and tell the message I have been given. I cannot read the mind of the Holy One; I do not know the reasons you are chosen. But over the ages, I have noticed that God’s choices are often unexpected. For example, do you know the story of Abraham, Sarah, and God at the oaks of Mamre?”

Mary replied, “Yes. Three strangers approached the tent of Abraham. Abraham offered them food and drink, not realizing that he was hosting the Lord and two angels.”

“I was one of those angels,” said Gabriel. “I watched as the Lord renewed the promise of a child to Abraham. I heard the Lord say the child would be born the next year. And from inside the tent, I heard an eavesdropping Sarah let out a cynical laugh. When confronted, she denied that she had laughed. But she had; and who can blame her? This news from God seemed preposterous. It hardly seemed possible that this old couple, who had wandered around for so many years, would be graced with a son. By human measures, their time had passed. But God chose them to be parents of Isaac, and in Isaac’s birth, the people of Israel were born.”

Mary listened attentively and carefully to everything that Gabriel was saying. She thought back to yesterday’s conversation in the synagogue. And she began thinking, “Is it true, then, that I am to give birth to the Messiah of Israel?”

Lord, help us to hear your promises. Amen.

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