Monday, December 8, 2014

Reflection for Monday, December 8, 2014

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Patronal Feastday of the United States of America

“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the LORD is with you. Blessed are you among women” - Luke 1:28

Today, we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of God. We also wait in anticipation of what is to come this Christmas. Like Eve and Adam in the garden, we wait. Aware of our sins and failings, we long for reconciliation with God, our Father. We long for a savior.

Mary longed for a savior as well. How beautiful it is, then, that she was given the gift of being conceived without original sin, so that she would be a perfect vessel for the Lord, her Savior. Not merited, it was God’s grace that made this gift possible. And how does Mary respond when she is asked give up her body and soul—her whole self—for the sake of the Lord? She does not respond in fear, like Adam and Eve. She accepts, in trust and humility, recognizing that she is God’s servant. I imagine, too, that when she responded, she felt great love and joy in her heart. The thirst that she and her people had felt for so long was finally going to be quenched. And she was going to play her “little” part in it.

Let us reflect today on Mary’s heart when she received the Father’s gift of a savior. Let us spend some time with our Savior Jesus Christ, who so gently came into this world to love us and save us. Let us talk with the Holy Spirit, who overshadowed Mary so that our joy would be complete.
Lord, help us to respond to your gifts, both big and small, the way Mary did. Let us “sing to the LORD a new song”, and praise all of your works continuously. Help us, Lord, to become like Mary, so that we may know You in the intimate, unique way that she did. Mary, help us to imitate your humility and trust, so that we may serve the Lord, joyfully and faithfully, in this life and in the next.

“In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.”
-Ephesians 1:11-12

Laura Downing is a senior studying Social Work, a student worker with SLU’s Faith and Justice Collaborative, and a practicum student with the Crown Center for Senior Living.

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