Monday, 12 December 2022 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church commemorates the occasion of one of the famous Marian Apparitions, or the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who appeared before St. John Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin at the site of Tepeyac hill in what is today Mexico, approximately five hundred years ago. This Apparition is now known famously as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and many millions were converted to the Christian faith upon the miraculous appearance and the miracles associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe, and then many more countless souls were saved in the subsequent centuries and years because of what the Lord had done to help us through His beloved Mother, who has come before us, in order to remind us all to love her Son and to turn away from the path of sin.

Back then, much of the New World, the Americas were still relatively newly discovered by the people from the Old World, and many of the natives still did not yet know the Lord and His truth. Many of the pagan practices especially in the region of Mesoamerica or Central America, which back then involved a lot of cruelty and even human sacrifices were overcome by the power of the Lord’s truth and love, and many among the natives abandoned their past wicked ways and embraced the true faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. However, at the same time, the behaviours of those Spanish conquerors and explorers back then also left much to be desired, who despite of their Christian faith carried out a lot of destruction and loss of life among the people by their actions, their killings and efforts to gain more wealth and glory for themselves, a behaviour most unbecoming and unworthy of those who called themselves as Christians.

Hence, at that time of great destructions, harm and desolation among the people of the world, where chaos reigned free, Our Lady chose to make herself available and approachable, just as later on she would do again in Lourdes and Fatima, also during times of hardships and trials for much of the world. Our Lady chose to appear to a simple and humble native man, St. John Diego, also known as St. Juan Diego. St. John Diego was one of the early Christian converts from among the native peoples of the region now known as Mexico, where he became a devout follower of Christ, and was known for his exemplary life and virtues, and who with his wife was remembered for their piety, simplicity and generosity. Back then, it happened that St. John Diego was passing by the area known as the Hill of Tepeyac when the Mother of God appeared to him, and spoke to St. John Diego in his own native language, revealing herself to be the Mother of God.

When he conveyed this message to others, no one initially believed what St. John Diego had said, and they disregarded him when he conveyed on them the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe about her identity and also her request that a church be built in her honour at the location of her Apparition. Then, at the next time when St. John Diego was supposed to meet Our Lady of Guadalupe, his uncle was very sick and St. John Diego had to get his uncle to meet a priest for the Sacrament of the Sick. And later on, St. Juan Diego tried to take another way, as he was ashamed of having failed to meet the Lady as he was supposed to, only to meet her on his way again, and she told him why she did not entrust his uncle and himself to God through her, with the words now well known as ‘Am I not here, I am, who am your mother?’. This serves as a reminder to all of us how the Lord has indeed entrusted His own Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe to be our mother as well.

Then, Our Lady of Guadalupe told St. John Diego to show a sign to the local bishop, and asked him to collect some flowers that appeared there at the site of the Apparition that were not native to the region, miraculously appeared there, and then St. John Diego gathered them using his tilma or cloak. As he brought the flowers and showed them to the bishop, what stunned the bishop and all the other witnesses present was not just the unusual flowers, but the fact and evidence that the very image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary herself was imprinted on the tilma that was worn by St. John Diego. Everyone who saw that miracle believed, and through the great occasion, many became believers and followed the Lord, all thanks to His mother and also through the faith and dedication showed by St. John Diego in faithfully living his life and in obeying God’s will.

Ever since then, countless millions upon millions had visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which grew more and more in popularity, drawing many people who were attracted to the Lord’s love, mercy and compassion as shown through His beloved Mother, especially during the time of hardships and difficulties. Our Lady of Guadalupe called on all of us to return to her Son with contrite heart and to devote ourselves once more to His cause. In our world today, at a time full of many distractions and worldly pleasures, of many things that have prevented us from finding our path towards God, the call that Our Lady of Guadalupe made upon us, her pleas that we reject the path of sin and embrace her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, through her, are reminders for us to make amends and to turn over a new leaf in our lives, to become God’s faithful people once again.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, as we continue to progress through this season of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas, let us all make sure that we do not just prepare for Christmas physically and in material, as what most people would have done. Instead, we must make sure that we are ready in heart and mind, spiritually for welcoming the Lord into our midst, as we rejoice in His past coming at Christmas, and as we also hope in the coming joy of His future return, as a mighty and conquering King when He comes again at the end of time. This is the true spirit of Advent and ultimately, Christmas that we all should have within us, the spirit and desire for us to live our lives worthily of the Lord, distancing ourselves from wickedness and evil ways, and from the excesses of worldly pleasures and temptations.

Let us all therefore draw ever closer to the Lord and spend our time now this Advent to deepen our relationship with Him. Let us all sin no more, and focus ourselves once again on the Lord and His truth, with the help of His blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and her lovely reminders for us all to be faithful to her Son’s Law and commandments. Let us all spend our time now to prepare ourselves that we may truly worthily celebrate Christmas with true joy and understanding, and not indulge ourselves in the excesses of worldly, secular celebrations of Christmas. It is not that we cannot rejoice and celebrate in that way, but we cannot be distracted by all those excesses of celebrations, merrymaking and festivities that we end up forgetting why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, that is our joy in the Lord’s coming and salvation for us.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to guide us in our journey, so that we may remain always ever firm in our faith in His truth and love. May God bless us all in our every endeavours and actions, our every good works and efforts for His greater glory. May He remain with us always in all things, and may His blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, intercede for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, 12 December 2022 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Matthew 21 : 23-27

At that time, Jesus had entered the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities came to Him, and asked, “What authority have You to act like this? Who gave You authority to do all this?”

Jesus answered them, “I will also ask You a question, only one. And if you give me an answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. When John began to baptise, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?”

They reasoned out among themselves, “If we reply that it was a work of God, He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ And if we say, ‘The baptism of John is merely something human’, we have got to beware of the people, for all hold John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what right I do these things.”

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Luke 1 : 39-47

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!”

Monday, 12 December 2022 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

Teach me Your ways, o Lord; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Remember Your compassion, o Lord, Your unfailing love from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, but in Your love remember me.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

1 Samuel 2 : 1, 4-8

My heart exults in YHVH, I feel strong in my God. I rejoice and laugh at my enemies for You came with power to save me.

The bow of the mighty is broken, but the weak are girded with strength. The well-fed must labour for bread, but the hungry need work no more.

The childless wife has borne seven children, but the proud mother is left alone. YHVH is Lord of life and death. He brings down to the grave and raises up.

YHVH makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and He exalts. He lifts up the lowly from the dust, and raises the poor from the ash heap; they will be called to the company of princes, and inherit a seat of honour. The earth to its pillars belongs to YHVH and on them He has set the world.

Monday, 12 December 2022 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Numbers 24 : 2-7, 15-17a

Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping, tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him and he uttered this song : “Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the words of God, and beholds the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled.”

“How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your encampments, Israel! Like valleys stretching far, like gardens beside a stream, like aloes planted by YHVH, like cedars beside the waters. His buckets are overflowing and His seeds are always watered. His king becomes stronger than Agag, and His kingdom grows.

Then Balaam pronounced his oracle : “Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the words of God, who has the knowledge from the Most High, and sees the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled. I see a Figure, but not really. I behold Him but not near. A Star shall come forth from Jacob, He rises with a staff in His hand.”

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Isaiah 7 : 10-14 and Isaiah 8 : 10c

Once again YHVH addressed Ahaz, “Ask for a sign from YHVH your God, let it come either from the deepest depths or from the heights of heaven.” But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask, I will not put YHVH to the test.”

Then Isaiah said, “Now listen, descendants of David. Have you not been satisfied trying the patience of people, that you also try the patience of my God? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign : The Virgin is with Child and bears a Son and calls His Name Immanuel, for God-is-with-us.”

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the thirteenth day of May we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, in commemoration of the very first Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the place known as Fatima in the countryside and remote place of Portugal near the city of Leiria. At that time, in the year of Our Lord 1917 was the third year of the First World War, or what was then known as the Great War. At that time, the War has raged on for three long years and many millions had perished in the battlefield, while many millions more were suffering from poverty, unemployment, hunger and famines, diseases among many others.

Then, on that one fine day, the thirteenth of May of that year, as three young shepherd children were walking in the fields, they saw the Apparition of a beautiful Lady which seemed to be a truly supernatural experience for them. Prior to this, they had also received three apparitions from the Angels of God, who had taught them several prayers and revealed some things to them. But beginning from the thirteenth of May, the Blessed Virgin Mother of God herself appeared to the three children.

Mary, later to be known as Our Lady of Fatima in honour of her apparition spoke to the three children and revealed to them the urging for everyone to pray the Holy Rosary and also devotion in order to bring an end of the Great War and also restore peace to the whole world. There had been too many conflicts and bitterness among men, and there had been way too many deaths. There had been too many tragedies and enmities among men. And there would be even more in the years and decades to come after that moment.

That was perhaps why Mary chose to appear to the three children of Fatima, St. Jacinta Marto and St. Francisco Marto, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos. She appeared to them at that most difficult of moments to remind us all mankind that God would not abandon us all in our time of greatest need. And she herself appeared as a reassuring and loving Mother to calm us all down, and to help show us the way out of the darkness and into the salvation and liberation through her Son.

Our Lady of Fatima appeared every month, on the thirteenth of the month with the message calling on all people to be devoted once again to God and to turn away from their sinful ways, and in particular to pray the Holy Rosary devotion to help to bring peace and to seek God’s loving intervention and grace to turn away our misfortunes and to drive away all the darkness and destruction from the world. Our Lady of Fatima called the faithful to repent from their sins and to be devoted once again to God.

Many people came to believe in the words of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin, and many would come to see the Apparition every month, led by the three children of Fatima. Soon, a crowd of hundreds and then thousands of people flocked to the Leiria and Fatima region, and the devotion quickly spread and became known. Eventually this would culminate in the great ‘Miracle of the Sun’ which happened at the last Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, and was witnessed by tens of thousands of people.

Among the messages and revelations of Our Lady of Fatima was the renowned ‘Secrets of Fatima’, one of which involved the Consecration of Russia to the Blessed Virgin, as well as the prophetic revelation of how Pope St. John Paul II was almost assassinated over six decades later on the exact date of the first Fatima Apparitions, namely the thirteenth day of May. Through all these, the Blessed Mother of God wanted to reach out to all of us her children, out of her love and concern for us.

Through these revelations, Our Lady of Fatima revealed the bitter sorrow that we the faithful and the world had to face, just as the great scourge of Communism would rise in Russia in that very year, and gripped the whole world many tragedies that lasted many decades as Communism spread all around the world and led to many persecutions of Christians under their care. Many people suffered and had to practice their faith in hiding, evading the authorities and many were martyred as well.

Now that all these tragedies, challenges and difficulties encountered by many of our predecessors in the past century had become part of history, we are called then to turn towards the Lord once again through the guidance of His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima. During the first five months in this year alone, we have encountered so many troubles and difficulties from all directions, particularly the still terrible coronavirus pandemic that is still raging all around the world.

At the time of the Great War, just not long after the Apparition of Fatima, one of the most deadly pandemics in the history of the world struck, caused by the influenza virus and known as the ‘Spanish Flu’, which ended up causing tens of millions of deaths during its more than two years of spread worldwide. Although comparatively the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic seemed to be much milder due to our vastly improved medical facilities and technologies, but people still died from the current pandemic and many more are suffering.

And this is coupled with all the other troubles, natural disasters like floods, volcanic eruptions among others, as well as other forms of difficulties that had come all around many communities. We certainly have heard how there are many people out there who are struggling to keep themselves, their families and their loved ones supported and afloat. Many of them had even lost their jobs or received temporary suspension of their work and pay, or being given significant pay cuts that made it difficult for them to take care of their families sufficiently.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is now that we are called to remember again the words of Our Lady of Fatima, calling on all of us to pray more fervently and be more devoted at all times. Amidst the difficulties and challenges we are probably facing and enduring right now, let us all have more faith in God, trust in Him more and worry less about many things in our lives that are beyond our control. Let us entrust ourselves to the Lord through His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pray the Holy Rosary especially during this blessed month of May, the month of the Holy Rosary, following what Our Lady of Fatima herself had told us through the three children of Fatima. Let us all pray fervently and inspire one another to pray, that God, in His mercy, may be moved to help us and deliver us from our troubles. Let us all be hopeful in Him that as long as we have faith in Him, we have no need to fear anything, be it the terrible pandemic or anything. Instead, let us all live our lives to the fullest and exercise Christian virtues and charity wherever and whenever we can.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He, through the intercession of His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us all from our darkness and troubles, and lead us into a new light and a new existence in His love. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 15 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the True Vine and My Father is the Vinegrower. If any of My branches does not bear fruit, He breaks it off; and He prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit.”

“You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you. Live in Me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you, if you do not remain in Me. I am the Vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in Me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from Me you can do nothing.”

“Whoever does not remain in Me is thrown away, as they do with branches, and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burnt. If you remain in Me and My words in you, you may ask whatever you want, and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit : it is then that you become My disciples.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Luke 11 : 27-28

At that time, as Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 3-4a, 4b-5

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

Jerusalem, just like a city, where everything falls into place! There the tribes go up.

The tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stand the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation, and your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the King, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 15 : 1-6

Some persons who had come from Judea to Antioch were teaching the brothers in this way, “Unless you are circumcised according to the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

Because of this there was trouble, and Paul and Barnabas had fierce arguments with them. For Paul told the people to remain as they were when they became believers. Finally those who had come from Jerusalem suggested that Paul and Barnabas and some others go up to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with the Apostles and elders.

They were sent on their way by the Church. As they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they reported how the non-Jews had turned to God, and there was great joy among all the brothers and sisters. On their arrival in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church, the Apostles and the elders, to whom they told all that God had done through them.

Some believers, however, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees, stood up and said that non-Jewish men must be circumcised and instructed to keep the law of Moses. So the Apostles and elders met together to consider the matter.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Isaiah 61 : 9-11

Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul exults for joy in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Loreto)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today on the tenth day of December for the very first time the Universal Church celebrates together the feast of Our Lady of Loreto, a celebration linked to the holy site of Loreto, which is according to the tradition of the Church and our faith is none other than the sacred dwelling place of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. This holy place was initially located in Nazareth, the place where Mary and St. Joseph lived.

Throughout the years, the holy house of the Lord remained standing even though other buildings and places were changed or destroyed. When St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great who ended persecution against Christians came to the Holy Land as part of her search for the True Cross and the holy relics of the Passion, the holy house of the Lord in Nazareth was discovered, and a Basilica was built over the place of the holy house, which was undisturbed and remained intact.

Through the many centuries afterwards, when many times and moments of turmoil, wars and conflicts caused changes in ownership of the land, and the great Basilica above the holy house were repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, miraculously, the holy house itself remained intact and indestructible by any earthly forces, right through to the time of the Crusades, over a thousand years after the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At that time, the holy house disappeared after the last time the Holy Land fell into the hands of the enemies of the Lord.

Then, miraculously, one day, in the small town in Dalmatia in what is now Croatia, the holy house suddenly appeared again and accompanied by a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appeared to the local priest saying that the miraculous appearance of the holy house was by the will of God and how the house was the actual house of the Holy Family of Nazareth. And when under various circumstances, the house was threatened yet again, it moved a few more times until it stayed in Loreto in Italy where it remained until today.

Therefore, there is then until today a great pilgrimage site at Loreto, to the Basilica of the Holy House, within which is that same house that once was the dwelling place of the Holy Family of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His mother Mary and also His foster father St. Joseph. And the interesting tale behind its miraculous survival after all these years in fact is a testimony and a reminder of how God and His presence endures all the time, regardless of changes in this world.

His Holiness Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome declared that beginning from this year onwards the celebration of Our Lady of Loreto and its glorious shrine should be celebrated by the Universal Church as a reminder for us all that indeed, especially during this season of Advent when the feast always takes place, it is important for us to return to the roots of our faith, that is within our own family units.

And we should model ourselves and our families after the loving examples of the Holy Family, which is the perfect model for our Christian families to follow, in the love, dedication and faith that each of the members of the Holy Family had shown, in being a good example how we ourselves should build our own families. A good and strong family foundation is essential to the establishment of a strong and living faith, for we must understand and realise that each and every one of our families are the basic and fundamental units of the Church.

In our world today, sadly, there had been much attack to the structure and bonds joining our families together. Many forms of temptations and false ideas had led to the dissolution of many families, as divorces and divisions became prevalent in our families today, which inevitably led to further problems including loss of faith and the weakening of the bonds joining the members of God’s Church together.

All these were the works of the devil and all of his wicked allies who must have worked hard to destroy us all, by striking at our families. Now, let us all look at the Holy Family for inspiration of how we should model our families and also our faith lives together, and let us all ask for the intercession of Mary, the Mother of our God and Our Lady of Loreto that we may be strengthened by her Son, Our Lord in our faith.

May the Lord bless us all and our families, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our commitment and courage to live each and every day with genuine faith and dedication to walk in the path that He has shown us all. May God be with us all and guide us in our journey of faith, and bless our Advent observation and preparation. Amen.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Loreto)

Matthew 18 : 12-14

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “What do you think of this? If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go to look for the stray one? And I tell you, when he finally finds it, he is more pleased about it, than about the ninety-nine that did not go astray.”

“It is the same with your Father in heaven. Your Father in heaven does not want even one of these little ones to perish.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Loreto)

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.