Advent WreathSolemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Intention: That all people will embrace the story of the birth of the Christ Child as a call to increase our attention to the needs of children throughout the world.

 

Today’s Gospel | Luke 1: 26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

A Reflection for the Second Tuesday of Advent

For Christians, perhaps no moment in the Nativity story is more wondrous than when God first revealed that we were about to be visited…by God.  As we know, a young girl named Mary was told that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God.  She did not understand how this could be possible, and she could not fathom how she could be worthy.  However, she did know what it meant to be a child of God.  She knew that the only thing to do, the only thing that made any sense at that moment, was to have faith.  And so, Mary said yes.  This story paints for us a portrait of the relationship between believing and living.  Just as it was the power of God that brought Mary to life, it was the power of her faith that would help bring God to life in the person of Jesus.  The message is clear: in God’s plan, faith makes life possible.  Not just our existence, but the fullness of meaning and purpose in which lies our sacredness and dignity.  The time of Advent is a time for imitating Mary’s faith in the providence of God, and for saying yes to God’s invitation to believe and to be alive.

Prayer

Eternal Father, as we prepare during this Advent to celebrate the gift of our Lord, we remember how your gift came to us. Through the faith and selflessness of our Blessed Mother, you gave us your Son, who teaches us how to live lives of faith, mercy, and justice, with peace in our hearts and with goodwill to all.  Because of Mary’s gift of herself, you were able to give yourself to our world.  Help us to hold in ourselves those same virtues of trust in you and openness to your will.  We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.