And coming to Mary, Gabriel said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But Mary was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
There are lots of different ways to pray. One way is to try to put yourself inside a person who is part of the Gospel passage in your prayer. Then you try to picture many of the things that aren’t described in the Gospel passage. Praying in that way with today’s Gospel might look something like this:
Mary lived up in Nazareth, a three days walk north of Jerusalem. Nazareth back then was a small town on a hill. Maybe 12o people lived there. They didn’t have any big buildings; they didn’t have any rich industry.
There came a day when Mary (like good Jewish people would do) went with her mother and father on a big trip to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. Three, Mary saw great big buildings and the temple. People were dressed so well. And the food and clothes and stores and riches!
That’s when Mary realized she was from a small town. She wasn’t one of the important people in the world. Thats when she realized she had an accent. Mary learned that.
On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I remember that when Mary appeared to Juan Diego, she spoke with his accent, she spoke with his language. She dressed in his native clothing, and she looked like Juan Diego and his people.
Not only does Mary care about me as one of her own, but Jesus also grew up that way. He knows what it’s like sometimes to feel small.
She understands. He understands.