"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?' The angel said to her, ‘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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38)
Today is the feast day of The Immaculate Conception. It is a time for us to recall Mary conceived without sin. Allowing us to recognize that long before Jesus walked upon this earth God's plan was fulfilled through the Immaculate Conception. Today's Gospel also invites us to meditate upon Mary's surrender to the Lord and His will. I am amazed and moved each time I read this Gospel passage. Recently I had the opportunity of watching " The Nativity Story" and it did a wonderful job of portraying this very event of which we read in today's Gospel. Being Catholic and a devoted woman to the Blessed Mother I am often asked questions by my Christian brothers and sisters regarding her role in Our faith. There seems to be a lack of understanding and often times criticism as to why She is so significant to us. I struggle frequently to provide an answer to pacify them, and perhaps fail to give an answer that will rid further judgement......I try my best. The one thing I am sure of is that a devotion to Mary has deepened my relationship with Jesus immensely, and has helped me on my journey of womanhood. How can one not honor the openness She possessed to God's will, Her conception through which she was created to be the dwelling place for our Lord. Her immaculate heart, and Her maternal ways? Despite her own fears of judgement and persecution, denying even Herself and Her own body.... Mary allowed her womb to become a dwelling place for our Savior. Ironically many of us struggle today to simply allow Him into our hearts. As we continue to venture through this Advent season let us take the time to pause and reflect upon the mystery and beauty of the immaculate conception. Lord we ask today that You help us recognize and understand the immensity of Mary's conception and her yes to our faith and Your will.. May we forever turn toward Mary our Mother for comfort, guidance and peace. Blessed Mother we thank You for carrying our savior within your womb. We admire you for your strength and for your faith. Even through persecution you kept your eyes focused on God's will and did not back away from His call. Mary help us to be like you in our own journeys of faith. Wrap your mantle around our shoulders and shield us from the things of this world that keep us from growing in union with Your Son Jesus Christ. Mary guide women with your maternal ways, your loving heart, and your example of purity. Today we pause and remember your surrender. With your yes we have our Savior, With your answer we know our Lord. Through your fear Mary you trusted
Blessed be your Holy womb. Amen (C.C.)
Blessed be your Holy womb. Amen (C.C.)
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among 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.