Dec 8

Thursday December 8
Let us place ourselves in the presence of God.
Close your eyes.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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.

i_supportedToday is the feast day of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. God has given Mary a beautiful gift. That throughout Mary’s life she would say yes to God. This does not make her less human. But rather, more human. It is not through spiritual things that we become more human, rather, it is through human things that we become more spiritual. As Marists, we do not look to Mary as a person who is hidden away in heaven up in the clouds. We look to Mary as one of us. Mary is our friend, our mother, our daughter and model. Mary is the embodiment of what it means to be Marist in her thoughts, feelings, emotions and will. Mary says “yes” to God. Yet she has no idea what that might mean. She is afraid.  It is not by doing it right that we get to heaven. It is by doing it wrong. Remember Mary is pregnant as a teenager who is unmarried. She could be stoned to death in first century Palestine. That was God’s plan. To break the law. This seems rather strange. God wants us like Mary to get our hands dirty. God liberates the lowly in very unusual ways. This is the lowly anawim the Old Testament speaks of – the poor. The poor who depend on God for deliverance. Mary is poor. In Mary God no longer speaks and acts outside like with Moses. With Mary, God speaks and acts inside our very being. Do we follow Mary? Do we allow God into us? Do we invite God in? Do we say, “yes”, in every moment. For even our own poverty, the unusual moments of our life, and even our own sin, God can work with. God enters through our humanness when we say “yes”.

Pause for 1 minute to reflect on the Gospel….

We bring these intentions to God.
1. We pray we might “say” to God as Mary has done. Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord hear our prayer”

2. We pray that our minds, hearts, and strength might be a doorway that we find God. May our body’s speak of God’s richness in our very being. Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord hear our prayer”

3. We thank God for Mary, our model and friend. May Mary be an inspiration for us living today. May Mary’s heart live in us. Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord hear our prayer”

Leader – Are there any other intentions?
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

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