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Luke 1:26-38

In this week’s Gospel we read the classic encounter between St. Mary and the Archangel Gabriel. To focus on one of the many things we can discuss in this passage, let us discuss Mary’s initial response to Gabriel. He greets her saying, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Her response to this is recorded by St. Luke as “she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.” This is a remarkable response of humility from the girl who was to become the Mother of God, which we can evaluate using psychology’s four stages of competence (details here).

Luke 1:1-25

In this week’s Gospel we read the story of Zacharias in the temple. This classic account of Gabriel’s visit to Zacharias is often contrasted with the Annunciation to St. Mary.  I don’t know about you, but I would personally not want to be publicly compared to St. Mary – Zacharias just happens to be in the same Gospel with the same angel and a similar story of an unlikely pregnancy. Rather than subject Zacharias to this, let us try to understand why he reacts the way that he does by answering several questions . . .

Luke 14:25-35

Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

Luke 7(11-17)

This week’s gospel is the story of the widow of Nain, who is left alone in the world when her only son dies. Witnessing the funeral procession, Jesus “had compassion on her” and raised her son from the dead. The question we ask is “why?”

Luke 5:1-11

In this week’s gospel (Luke 5:1-11) we discussed Peter’s interaction with Christ on his fishing boat and how they pertain to our personal relationship with God. One point to keep in mind in evaluating what Peter says is that this is not his first experience with Christ; in fact, his own mother in law was healed by Christ in the previous chapter. Let us now look at the two statements individually:

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