Sunday, December 07, 2014
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
December 8, 2014
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Holy Day of Obligation
Gn 3: 9-15, 20 / Ps 98: 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4 / Eph 1: 3-6, 11-12/ Lk 1: 26-38
First Reading: Gn 3: 9-15, 20
(After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree) Yahweh God called the man saying to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?" The man answered, "The woman you put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it." God said to the woman, "What have you done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me and I ate." Yahweh God said to the serpent, "Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel." The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
Second Reading: Eph 1: 3-6, 11-12
Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, who in Christ has blessed us from heaven with every spiritual blessing. God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and without sin in his presence. From eternity he destined us in love to be his adopted sons and daughters through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling his free and generous will. This goal suited him: that his loving-kindness which he granted us in his Beloved might finally receive all glory and praise. By a decree of Him who disposes all things according to his own plan and decision we, the Jews, have been chosen and called and we were awaiting the Messiah, for the praise of his glory.
Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the angel said, "Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be if I am a virgin?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible." Then Mary said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." And the angel left her.
Today the entire Catholic Church celebrates with joy and exultation the feast of the Immaculate Conception. "Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done a marvelous thing." (Ps 98:1) Yes, marvelous indeed is His call to Mary, a woman of Israel, born pure and immaculate. The Lord God chose her to the Mother of His Son.This is a sign of God's gratuitous and immeasurable love for Mary and for mankind.
When Mary heard the angel's greeting, she was greatly troubled, but the angel assured her of the action of the Holy Spirit. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. ... you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call him Jesus..." Who would not be greatly troubled? The angel continued: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the most high will overshadow you. The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God..." How could Mary say no? All her life, she was just a simple, available, listening woman attuned to the Father's will. Total availability seems to be part of her innermost being... "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your words." Although Mary did not know how far God would take her, she surrendered herself completely, trusting and loving God.
We are invited to follow her example to open ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit that we may become instruments of salvation.
Mary, be our guide in today's world so that we may become more available to God and thankful for the wonders of His love.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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