English translation of Pope Francis' remarks at the Angelus of 24 December 2017.
VaticanNews Release: Angelus Dear brothers and sisters, n this Sunday that immediately precedes Christmas, we hear the Gospel of the Annunciation (cfr. Lk 1,26-38). In this Gospel passage, we can note a contrast between the promises of the Angel and the response of Mary. Such a contrast is manifested in the dimension and in the content of the two protagonists. The Angel says to Mary: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father, and He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (vv. 30-33). It is a long revelation, which opens unheard prospectives. The Child that will be born of this humble girl from Nazareth will be called the Son of the Most High: it is not possible to conceive a higher dignity than this. And after Mary’s question, with which she requests explanations, the revelation of the Angel becomes even more detailed and surprising. On the other hand, the response of Mary is a short phrase, that does not speak of glory or of privilege, but only of availability and of service: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to your word” (v. 38). Even the content is different. Mary is not exalted in the face of the prospective of becoming even the mother of the Messiah, but remains modest and expresses her adherence to the project of the Lord.