Today’s beautiful reading gives hope to new beginnings and life to fresh starts emerging out of old problems. Scripture pairs the innocence of a youthful Mary to the wisdom of an elderly Elizabeth. Honoring the full bloom of the feminine, vulnerable and lovable, I offer the following prayer from the Irish Jesuits for your reflections and revelations revealing where God is waiting to hear your own “YES, open my heart Lord!” emerge out of the “NO, don’t go there” areas of your life:
The Presence of God: God is with me, but more, God is within me. Let me dwell for a moment on God’s life-giving presence in my body, my mind, my heart, as I sit here right now.
Freedom: A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor who sees by her genius what she can make of it. I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
Consciousness: Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am. How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
The Word : I read today’s scripture and I listen.
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.
Conversation: Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings as one trusted friend to another.
Conclusion: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, World without end. Amen.
December 20, 2011 No Comments