The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“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.”
If you are so inclined, I invite you to deliberately set aside, for just ten minutes, whether the narrative is literally true. In those ten minutes, reflect on what God becoming incarnate means. Really let the existential shock of that move you. Set aside the humility of the circumstances surrounding Jesus's birth. Imagine instead a flash rivaling the flash of Creation at the moment the divine becomes human.