But It Was on the Internet!’

Are there any readings, books, or websites to explain to my 79-year-old sister that the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, telling her that she was favored by God to give birth to God’s Son?My sister believes something evil happened to Mary. When I told her she was wrong, she replied, “But it was on the Internet! “

I’ll take the Annunciation account in the Gospel of Luke (1:26–38) over whatever Internet source your sister had. Nothing evil happened to Mary, who became the first and best of Jesus’ disciples.

My guess is that whoever posted that other story on the Internet may think that the Incarnation was a bad idea, and this is that person’s way of discrediting God’s plan.

Without the Incarnation, we would never know how much and how deeply God loves each person. We would be strongly tempted to turn God into a caricature of what the Bible presents. It would be pretty easy to regard God as simply aloof and unreasonably demanding, leading us to disregard God altogether.

“All that glitters is not gold ” goes the proverb. Not everything in a book, magazine, or on the Internet is necessarily true.

You may or may not succeed in convincing your sister that nothing evil happened to Mary at the Annunciation, but I encourage you to trust what is clearly and reverently presented in the Gospel of Luke.

Ask a Franciscan


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