Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
If you’ve ever tried to explain the dogma of the Immaculate Conception to someone, you may perhaps have Mary’s words from today’s gospel, “How can this be?” echoing in your heart:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (CCC #491)
When I read today’s gospel, I’m most inspired not by the theology behind that particular dogma. Greater minds than mine can explain that more correctly and thoroughly than I’ll ever hope to do.
Rather, I’m struck by the simple humility of Mary’s “Yes”. When the angel greets her with this most unlikely of news, she does ask “How?” But with Gabriel’s response that “nothing will be impossible with God”, Mary then consents:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
May it be done…
God, loving Father, I give you my Yes.
I frequently write and speak about my hope to live God’s will more fully. To put myself in the place of a young virgin, surely frightened out of her wits, and try to contemplate the enormity of this particular “Yes” defies comprehension. You and I will likely never be asked to give such a big “Yes”. Yet, our days are peppered with small, simple opportunities to emulate Mary’s faith, hope and trust.
Today, inspired by the grace of her Immaculate Conception but also by her path as woman, wife, and mother, we strive to give our own Yes. Father, may it be done to us according to Your word.
How will I give my “Yes” to God today, during this Advent season, and in the upcoming year?
Blessed Mother, Immaculate Conception, be a mother to me today as I endeavor the follow your example and give God my life more fully. May I trust, as you did, that with God nothing will be impossible.
Copyright 2019 Lisa M. Hendey
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