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Genesis 3:9-15,20; Psalm 98; Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12; Luke 1:26-38

The “both/and” aspect of God’s way of thinking is clearer to us in the events of everyday personal lives, perhaps, than it is in the humming of the celestial spheres. Today’s readings could not be clearer: we have two women, one who is a virgin and pregnant, the other who is old and barren and pregnant. Most of us probably know women who were pregnant before they expected or intended to be, and other women who got pregnant when they thought their families were already completed. Our God is a God of surprises, and does not let our expectations nor intentions — nor even our behavior! — get in the way of accomplishing the divine plan. Mary’s response is the only one that makes sense: “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Have you experienced God’s surprises in your own life? How did they turn out?

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