Daily Devotions for 12/20/10

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Scripture. Lectionary for Dec. 20, 2010. # 197. Isaiah 7:10-14. Psalm
24:1-2.3-4.5-6. Luke 1:26-38

Today’s Readings

Our texts lead us to Mary and they can be found in the most frequented and
favored passage of hers in the Scriptures, the Annunciation. She, the soon
to be mother of Jesus the Savior, is the person who will lead us to the
manger this week. We should follow her while holding her hand so that we
really come to the child Jesus through her loving warmth of welcome. Jesus
will be born in short five days. Christmas nears.

We are privileged to listen to the great storyteller of Mary, Luke the
Evangelist. He gives us the story of her call and her vocation in what is
called an Annunciation Narrative or Account. This scene is filled with
joy, peace, an exchange with a messenger of God, and with love. These are
the great virtues of Advent and Gabriel reminds us of them through his
dialogue with Mary of Nazareth a young woman of twelve to fourteen. She is
espoused to a man of the Davidic lineage named Joseph. He, too, is young
and is righteous and holy before the Lord his God.

The woman is being called to the most unique vocation ever–that of giving
birth to the Messiah whose role will be to save all humankind. She will
give her yes to the Angel which is called her “fiat” or the Latin word for
may it be. Though she is of humble origins her name will be known
throughout the world eventually and is even being known today by almost
everyone who has read or heard of the New Testament. As a humble handmaid
of the Lord she is telling us that humility is the absolute honesty about
ourselves before God. She is transparent to God and his message from
Gabriel.

This woman is able to help us in our own call of getting to know Jesus and
to follow him as she did. She is blessed among all women as her cousin will
confirm soon in the Visitation mystery. We learn how to say yes to God
through her who risked her all because she trusted in the words of God’s
messenger.

Almost nine months ago we celebrated this as the feast of the Annunciation
of the Lord which is the same as the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. That was March 25 and now the liturgy recalls that beginning of life
within her to help us go to the crib and find the fruit of her blessed
womb. It is more than a romantic recalling when we do this in a liturgical
setting. The mystery comes alive again and we join in the joy, peace, and
love of Mary. Yes, her story is all about Christmas and its sequence of
years and events with Jesus. She is never separated from him spiritually.
And the more we allow her to enter our lives, the closer we will be to her
son and again we will be joyful, loving, and hopeful. May we take some few
moments this day to pray the Angelus which contains the first three great
mysteries of our spiritual mother’s story and life. Amen.

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