Today is Thursday the 20 December, in the Third Week of Advent.

The Tölzer Knabenchor and the Choir of the King’s Consort sing Et Incarnatus Est from Bach’s Mass in B minor.  ‘By the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.’  Listen to how this music expresses the mystery and the wonder of the incarnation, of God becoming human, of a God not far away, somewhere in the sky, remote and inaccessible, but so close to us as to become one of us.  That is how close God is to us.  That is how close God is to you now.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

Try and imagine this scene.  Firstly, what can you see?  Where does this take place?  What’s the place like?  Is it indoors or outdoors?  What time of day is it? 

What is Mary wearing?  What does she look like?  What does the angel Gabriel look like?   What else can you see?

Now imagine what they are saying.  Listen to the conversation.  Hear the amazing news that Gabriel tells Mary, and her response.  What do you hear?

Now consider for a few moments what they are doing, what is taking place – Gabriel carrying God’s message to Mary; Mary placing herself at God’s service to bring God’s Son into the world; the fulfilment of God’s promise to send us the Saviour we yearn for.

Finally, reflect on yourself for a few moments, and what you have felt and experienced in these last minutes.   You might want to end by speaking to God about this, telling the Lord about your own feelings and desires as you witness the unfolding of this Divine Plan.