The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a young woman named Mary in Nazareth, a town of Galilee. She was to be married to a man named Joseph of the family of David. When he came to her the angel said: |Hail, highly honored one! God is with you!|
She was startled by his words and wondered what such a greeting might mean. But the angel said to her, |Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will have a son and will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.|
Then Mary said to the angel, |How can this be, for I am not yet married.| The angel answered her, |The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you; therefore your child will be called holy, the Son of God.| Mary said: |I am God's servant. May it be with me as you say.| Then the angel left her.
In those days the Emperor Augustus commanded that every one should be registered. So all went to be registered, each to his own town. Joseph, because he was of the family of David, went to be registered with Mary, his wife, from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea where David was born. While they were there Mary's first son was born. And she wrapped him in swaddling-clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In that country there were shepherds living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel from God stood by them and a heavenly light shone around them, and they were frightened. But the angel said to them:
|Fear not, for behold I bring you good news Of great joy which shall be for all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David A Saviour who is God's Anointed. This will be a sign to guide you: You will find a baby in swaddling-clothes lying in a manger.|
Then suddenly there was with the angel a great number of the heavenly ones singing praise to God and saying:
|Glory to God on high, And on earth peace, good-will among men.|
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, |Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this which God has made known to us.| So they went quickly and found Mary and Joseph; and the baby was lying in a manger.
When they had seen him, they made known what had been told them about this child. All who heard the words of the shepherds wondered, but Mary kept these things to herself and often thought about them. And the shepherds returned, thanking and praising God for what they had heard and seen, as it had been foretold.