Luke 1:26-38; 47-55

The annunciation has attracted the attention of commentators for centuries. Medieval writers liked to embroider upon Luke’s bare-bones account, saying, for example, that when the angel Gabriel appeared, Mary was reading Isaiah 7, the prophet’s foretelling of the birth of Christ. Visual artists were also attracted to the scene. Many paintings show Mary interrupted not from reading but from spinning, and legend has it that she was spinning Jesus’ shroud: somehow, intuitively, she knew to prepare for his death before she even knew about his birth.


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