Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Annunciation

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.”  Lk 1:26-28

As we recall and celebrate this beautiful encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary, we are reminded that God continues to be Emmanuel – God with us – even today.   Oh, that each of us would be open to this message of the angel Gabriel.  Take a moment to reflect upon these words. Put your name there – “Hail (your name), full of grace!  The Lord is with you.”  What happens inside of you as you hear your name?   What feelings are aroused?

Each of us are full of grace! In our Baptism the fullness of God has been poured over us and has anointed us with the Holy Spirit.  Are not each of us called as Mary to respond “let it be done to me according to your word”?  What is God asking of you?  Where is God leading you?

God, we ask that you grant us the courage of Mary to accept your call despite our fears and misgivings.  And to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with Your Presence to be a light to our world. Amen.

Icon of Gabriel, Byzantine, ca. 1387-1395 (Tretyakoy Gallery)

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