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Immaculate Conception of Mary

December 9, 2013

Reflection

 

The feast we celebrate today is not about sin and death. It is about birth and life: the birth and life of Mary. Specifically, it is the conception of Mary, believed to be free from the stain of that “original” sin. Each of us receives God’s grace at the moment of our conception. But Mary’s grace was sufficient that she could embrace the unknown. Luke reminds us that Mary was fully human, like us. She was fearful, confused, and questioning. In the end though, she surrendered herself totally to God in faith and love. Mary said: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.”

 

Thought Questions

 

What are the titles the Church has given Mary?

Why are there no passages of scripture about the Immaculate Conception?

When have you experienced the power of God, empowering you to love and be good?

 

Prayer

 

Slowly recite:

 

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Hoy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

God who is mighty has done great things for me.

 

By Shirley Jackson

 

 

 

Readings

 

Reading 1 GN 3:9-15, 20

 

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with meC
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

 

R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

 

Reading 2 EPH 1:3-6, 11-12

 

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him. 
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

 

Gospel LK 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.

Tags: st agatha catholic church, mary, conception, immaculate, immaculate conception of mary, family, st agatha family, st agatha, advent, retreat, advent retreat, online advent retreat

Comments

Dorothy Kozak  |  LA  |  December 10, 2013  |  5:54 AM

Dorothy Kozak  |  LA  |  December 10, 2013  |  5:54 AM

Dorothy Kozak  |  LA  |  December 10, 2013  |  5:54 AM

Dorothy Kozak  |  LA  |  December 10, 2013  |  5:54 AM

Dorothy Kozak  |  LA  |  December 10, 2013  |  5:54 AM

A beautiful thought above, Fr. Bill, and thank you Shirley for such beautiful thoughts on Mary.   Her special feast day has always been one of my most favorite highlights of Advent, and your reflection highlights so many reasons why...

 


Fr. Bill  |  LA  |  December 9, 2013  |  5:48 PM

I've always seen the teaching of the Immaculte Conception as clueing us into God's intricate Providence in each of our lives. Just as from creation, God saw how flawed we would be, and so created the means of atonement, including preparing the way for that atonement to come to us, so God planned for each one of us--with just as much thought and care. We have been "anticipated with great Love." 


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