Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary

(Published for the first time on 28.03.2020.)

Reading: “Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed); Luke 1:31,34 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. (…) “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

Reflection: Yesterday alone, almost 1000 people died in Italy. The number of infected people in the US has surpassed the number in China. In our country, the number of infected people is increasing with more testing. In the past week, we have been bombarded with a multitude of information, rising numbers, and new measures. Almost no news was encouraging. It has long been difficult to predict or forecast anything. In the days to come, it will be easy to lose hope and stop expecting any good news, let alone God’s hand in this situation.

“How will this happen?” Mary asked Gabriel, not so much seeking an explanation of the mechanism of conception, but rather in disbelief, asking, “Is this possible?”

Gabriel then introduces the Holy Spirit into the story, who has so many times in the crucial moments in the history of the Jewish people changed the course of the game. He then reminded her that “nothing is impossible with God.” It was only then that Mary could say, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

The mention of the Holy Spirit brings to mind a verse from the Old Testament that could help us in these days. Our Pentecostal brothers have preached countless sermons on this verse, encouraging countless weary hearts who regained hope for tomorrow.

“So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Not by might, meaning not with weapons that power, position in society, connections, or powerful allies provide. Not by power, meaning not with our own strength of muscles, intellect, will, determination, or decision. But by the power of God’s action without which in the history of Israelites, they could not have achieved all that they achieved.

Whether our enemy is a disease caused by a virus or fear of the uncertainty that tomorrow brings, today we are on the side of victory only if we allow the Holy Spirit to fight for us.

Prayer: Father, thank you that what is impossible for humans is possible for you. Holy Spirit, today I entrust my life into your hands and ask you to fight for me. If I have felt mighty and powerful in the past, I repent of that. I pray that in this battle, you will come to the aid not only of me but of the whole world, which you have created for your glory. Look upon our suffering and deliver us from the evil we are fighting. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen

Posted in Daily devotionals.