I've been looking at gospel accounts of angelic visitation, and while I didn't do an exhaustive study to make sure I got them all, I noticed something interesting.
The angels consistently began their communication with "Do not be afraid." It must be a frightening thing to encounter such a spirit. Zechariah, Peter, Mary Magdalene, all were told not to be afraid.
The interesting thing is the exception. Gabriel did not open this way to Mary at the annunciation. Instead, he honored her, saying "Hail, oh highly favored one."
Gabriel must have been ready to burst (if an angel can be filled with excitement and joy), holding back what he knew about who she was, and who she was to become.
I cant even imagine his excitement. interesting point.
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