And coming to her he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
Christmas shopping is almost over. Malls are packed and websites are getting pounded with orders. You have your list of family and friends to buy for, with most hopefully already taken care of. If you're like me, some on that list get more expensive gifts than others. It's only natural that you'd buy your child or parent something greater in price than that of a coworker. In fact, you may have thought that if you buy something at a certain price level, you'll get something in return in that same range this year or in the future. You may have thought, "l'll buy the boss or a coworker something nice…that way I'll get future considerations." All of these have strings attached.
In today's reading, the angel Gabriel greets Mary, "hail full of grace." God's gift to us is grace, freely given with no strings attached. There's no, "if I give this gift to them, then they'll give it back." There's none of that. It's simply there for the taking if we want it. But because of sin, we don't take it or recognize it. However when we fully embrace God's love and grace, we cannot help but share it with others. In its purest form, when we give God's love and grace to others, there are no strings attached. That's the best kind of gift to give….and receive!