Today is the feast day of the patron saint of Mexico, among other places. I’ve been living with her all year in the form of the calendar that adorns the wall right behind me, right between the two windows of my office.
I’m not sure where or why or how I came to possess this calendar. I think maybe I bought it on sale at Borders, after Christmas, after New Year’s Day. Dawn likes whimsical cat or folk art calendars, whereas I’m more generally a fan of religious ones. And a calendar where each month is a different depiction of the same icon, well, that’s right up my alley.
The first reading from the Lectionary for today is from Zechariah. It’s similar to, so very similar to, but in fact just ever so slightly different from, the great soprano piece from Handel’s Messiah, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. That’s actually from Zechariah 9, whilst today’s reading is Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion and is from Zechariah 2.
(And as it turns out, we hear this very Handel piece this coming weekend at the 10:00 a.m. Mass.)
And the Gospel is the from St. Luke, just slightly before the Magnificat. Hey, it’s the Hail Mary!
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.”
When I was first in inquiry at St. Matt’s, Will Young pointed out how great the next line was: But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Will said that this showed what a special relationship the Blessed Virgin had with St. Luke, because the only way that he would know that she was troubled, or what she pondered in her heart, is because she told him so.