I read an article recently about a speaker who was giving a presentation on the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we know there are so many ways one could talk about Mary – as our model of discipleship, as mother, as queen; but the speaker’s focus and title of his presentation was, “Mary was not a size two.”
The point of the presentation was to get people thinking about who Mary was in history and who Mary is to us today.
The presenter’s thoughts centered on his understanding about our Blessed Mother. Her image cannot be captured in a single statue, a single icon, a single picture, or a single holy card.
Our images are formed as we read God’s word, connect to Mary through prayer and devotion, and reflect on our shared experiences with her as parents, spouses, children, friends, and faith-filled disciples.
Today’s feast invites to get to know Mary better… Today’s feast invites us to follow in Mary’s footsteps by paying attention to what is happening around us. Continue her work in the world as we keep our homes, teach our children, honor our parents, and love our spouses.
And we learn from Mary to keep faith when we don’t have all the answers and when we find it hard to understand what is being asked of us and what is taking place in our lives.
Please join us for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
Saturday, December 8 – Mass at 9:00 am
Our Gospel today, on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception reminds us that the miracle of Jesus’ birth, Son of God, Son of Mary occurred because Mary said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to our word.”
The dialogue between Mary and the Angel is a beautiful testimony to exactly what our God asks from each of us. Our God wants us to move out of comfort zone and to something or become something that we have not planned.
Mary moved out of her comfort zone in a big way with her yes. Mary might well be seen as the model for our response to God’s call in our lives, no matter if it is a small request to carry in the groceries or a profound moment of deciding to take that new job in a new city.
Like Mary, we need to act with courage and believe that, when we leap, God will provide the net.
Mary considered the challenge and then responded with her yes, because she trusted God. In this time and place, may we do as Mary did by starting with our YES!
In today’s Gospel we hear again the greeting by the Angel Gabriel to Mary, “Hail, full of grace!” Or if the Angel came to us today, “Hi, God loves you.”
The late Italian Cardinal Martini shared many years ago that “full of grace” could be interpreted as “full of God’s love.” And like Mary, we too have been and are loved by God from the moment of our conception and for ever.
And like Mary who with challenges and difficulty said yes to bringing into the world Jesus, the Son of God, we too are being asked in our day to bring Jesus to the people of our everyday life, thru the person of faith we are and are becoming.
In an Advent e-mail that I receive, entitled “Redeemed Online,” the daily video each day has a three word title with the first two words always being: Jesus IS…
It would be an interesting spiritual exercise to see how many ways we might complete the phrase Jesus is…
Because, it is only in coming to KNOW Jesus more and more that we can share the REAL Jesus with others.
- Jesus IS love
- Jesus IS real
- Jesus IS joyful
- Jesus IS weak
- Jesus IS understanding
- Jesus IS exciting
- Jesus IS Jewish
- Jesus IS scandalous
- Jesus IS messy
- Jesus IS controversial
Like Mary who came to know her child, Jesus, more and more as he grew in wisdom and grace, may we too come to know Jesus more and more. So that we can not only understand Him, but share his wisdom and grace with one another and all people.
I read a great quote about Mary today about the Wedding Feast of Cana, when Mary said to the attendants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary knew she had to step aside and let her Son work.
Just maybe today’s Feast is a reminder for us to cooperate with the plans of God; to get out of the way and let the work of God happen. Just like Mary did…
Put another way, our ego, our self-centeredness can often get in the way. One priest in a conversation we had last week, shared the observation that when we hear about the good another person or group or church is doing, we often dismiss it, rather than seize the moment to join in that good work, the good work of God.
When can we join with others to advance the Kingdom of God, here on Earth as it is in Heaven?
In recent days, I heard about an effort begun in the Saratoga Area entitled, “Pray 60.” In the coming weeks, I will be speaking with parish leaders to see how we here at St. Mary’s, Crescent might join in this effort come the new year.
Mary’s many yeses of her life were always about her getting out of the way and making room for something greater. May Mary be our reminder and our example that ultimately our lives need to be about GOD.
Scripture Readings: Genesis 3:9-15; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
As the Parish of St. Mary’s and as a nation dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, today’s Feast is especially important for us.
Today’s Feast most certainly reminds us of Mary’s invitation to bring Christ into the world and her “Yes” to God and to God’s plan, to God’s ways… as difficult, as perplexing as this certainly was for Mary some 2000 years ago.
Today’s Feast is also about us. Like Mary, we too are being asked each day to bring Christ into the world.
What is that and what will be our response?
Like Mary we pray that it will be “Yes” to God’s invitation and God’s plans.
How do we bring Christ into our world today? Like Mary – with love!
Every time we say YES to God and YES to others, love comes to life and Christ becomes more real.
On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception, may there be an increasing number of YES’s in our lives that, like Mary, increasingly bring Christ to the world of today and God’s people.