This session contrasts the response of Mary to Gabriel's announcement of her coming motherhood to the attitude of Zachariah. In Luke 1: 5-20 we read of Zachariah’s response to the angel’s promise that the aged Elizabeth, his wife, would bear a son. The Aposticha (given above as a liturgical resource) expresses his doubts in vivid words. The contrast between his doubtfulness and Mary’s sensible yet faithful acceptance may strike a chord with many of our teen-aged students. They, too, are tempted to ask, “Why should I believe that?” and “How do I know it’s really so?” To help them, present the Virgin Mary as a strong yet faithful person. She is not afraid to question the angel about something she does not understand, yet she listens to him and accepts his words as being from God. Encourage students to see that faith like hers is not just blind acceptance, and that cynical doubt like Zachariah’s is not a way of getting to the “real truth.” Zachariah is so intent on his “own agenda,” as we might phrase it today, that he can’t accept what the angel is telling him. He hardly even seems to hear Gabriel. He is full of suspicion. He has an almost arrogant certainty that what he wants (a Savior, not a son) is the right thing. These are some points to try to include in discussion with your students.