From Father Andrew Bahhi: The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary

I would like to ask a question to all of us – how many of us listen to the news daily? How many hours? A lot. The next question is, how much of this is good news? And, on the other hand, how much of this is bad news? At the end of the day, you may not hear even one bit of good news.

Today we read about the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary – translated, the “annunciation” means “the good news.” (Luke 1:26-38)

How, as Christians, can we distinguish between bad news and good news? Not just from the news stations and newspapers, but even from the people who call us with bad news.

All of us would lead a very happy life, and free life when we focus on the good news. Because most of our burdens come from the news that enters our lives.

There was a time recently, as you remember, the fear in the streets during the revolution in Egypt. After 10 days we had Liturgy. I was so afraid of the danger in the streets that it was so hard to pray for another one’s child. This is because we allow our windows – eyes, ears, mouth – to all the news of the world, the good and the bad. But unfortunately, the bad is more than the good.

I decided I will never listen to news except twice every day, and each time five minutes, just to see what’s happening. But only five minutes. And after one week, I was able to pray normally and then to raise people up for themselves.

And when we pray for what’s happening, your prayer and my prayer can achieve change in these things that are happening.

We are talking about how to hear the news, and what is good and what is bad. Mary was a young girl, sitting, and then an angel of the Lord appears to her and said, “Peace be with you.”

And she said, why me? Don’t worry, the angel said, God chose you to be the mother of His only begotten son by flesh only in order to save the world.

The Holy Spirit will overshadow you and you will receive a power from highest and conceive and have a son and His name will be Jesus as he will save His people. And then Mary very humbly said — “Let it be according to God’s will and what you say.” (Luke 1:36)

We, as Christians, especially with these readings, we have to ask ourselves, “How much do we receive good news?” – because good news will set you free.

If we open our hearts to the good news, through the Bible — at the end of the day we will be free like Mary, and we will be full of rejoicing to the point we can share the good news with everybody.

After she received the news, Mary received God in her womb. And you also dear brothers and sisters — If you make a decision to open your heart and mind, your life to the good news, that God is now telling everybody that I came to set you free. I came to give you joy. I came for you to have rejoicing. Not in your womb, but in your heart and mind. And you will receive the real happiness and real joy.

As Mary said ““How can this be, since I do not know a man?” you also are asking “How can this be happening to me?” God, through the angels – His messengers – is with us. He is telling the angels “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)

You don’t need to be strong to be a child of God. You need to have a broken heart and to obey and to open your life to the power of the highest one, the power of the Holy Spirit, and He will wash your heart and give you the good news Jesus Christ, who died for us and for everybody who believes in Him.

Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon video here.