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December 9, 2019

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Lk 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Our response to God

In today’s Gospel, we receive the angel’s announcement of the coming birth of Jesus. It is easy to take this reading at face value for the glorious announcement about Jesus, but this passage tells us much more about Mary. When the angel approaches Mary we can feel her fear and wonder as she unconditionally submits to the will of God. Mary is truly the very first disciple of Jesus, so we are called to ask what motivates Mary’s response to God? What is our response as disciples when God asks something difficult of us? Through the lens of Ignatian Spirituality we ask “what more does God want of me?” and “what more does God want NOW?”

—John LaMantia is a graduate of Fordham University and Saint Ignatius College Prep who is a trial attorney in the service of others. He is on the JFAN Chicago board for the Midwest Jesuits and continues to provide his four children with a Jesuit high school and college education.

Prayer

Take, Lord, receive. All my liberty.
My memory, understanding, my entire will!
Give me only your LOVE, and your Grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me! 

Take Lord, receive, All I have and posses.
You have given unto me, Now I return it.
Give me only your love, and your grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me!

—Lyrics to Take, Lord, Receive by John Foley, SJ, © 1975, 1996 John B. Foley, SJ, and OCP


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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December 9, 2019

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Lk 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Our response to God

In today’s Gospel, we receive the angel’s announcement of the coming birth of Jesus. It is easy to take this reading at face value for the glorious announcement about Jesus, but this passage tells us much more about Mary. When the angel approaches Mary we can feel her fear and wonder as she unconditionally submits to the will of God. Mary is truly the very first disciple of Jesus, so we are called to ask what motivates Mary’s response to God? What is our response as disciples when God asks something difficult of us? Through the lens of Ignatian Spirituality we ask “what more does God want of me?” and “what more does God want NOW?”

—John LaMantia is a graduate of Fordham University and Saint Ignatius College Prep who is a trial attorney in the service of others. He is on the JFAN Chicago board for the Midwest Jesuits and continues to provide his four children with a Jesuit high school and college education.

Prayer

Take, Lord, receive. All my liberty.
My memory, understanding, my entire will!
Give me only your LOVE, and your Grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me! 

Take Lord, receive, All I have and posses.
You have given unto me, Now I return it.
Give me only your love, and your grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me!

—Lyrics to Take, Lord, Receive by John Foley, SJ, © 1975, 1996 John B. Foley, SJ, and OCP


Please share the Good Word with your friends!