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December 08, 2021

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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. 

How can this be? 

During Holy Week, I participated in The Jesuit Post’s online retreat, “Live the Questions: A Holy Week Retreat in the Ignatian Tradition.” In the third talk of the retreat, the presenter, Eric Immel, SJ, calls retreatants to consider Mary’s question from today’s Gospel, “How can this be?” He says that in the face of the unexpected, it is natural to respond with fear or disbelief, to ask “How can this be?” When we simply cannot imagine, let alone believe, not to mention accept, that which God has put in front of us, we ask “How can this be?”. 

When feasibility or purpose surpass our understanding, we are invited to take our cue from Mary and respond with courage and humility to whatever it is that God has in store for us. How do you respond when faced with the unexpected? In this season of Advent, ask God for the grace to respond to the unexpected with the courage and humility of Mary.

Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

 

Prayer 

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
  only asked
a simple, ‘How can this be?’
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
the astounding ministry she was offered… 

Excerpt from “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov's 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 08, 2021

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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. 

How can this be? 

During Holy Week, I participated in The Jesuit Post’s online retreat, “Live the Questions: A Holy Week Retreat in the Ignatian Tradition.” In the third talk of the retreat, the presenter, Eric Immel, SJ, calls retreatants to consider Mary’s question from today’s Gospel, “How can this be?” He says that in the face of the unexpected, it is natural to respond with fear or disbelief, to ask “How can this be?” When we simply cannot imagine, let alone believe, not to mention accept, that which God has put in front of us, we ask “How can this be?”. 

When feasibility or purpose surpass our understanding, we are invited to take our cue from Mary and respond with courage and humility to whatever it is that God has in store for us. How do you respond when faced with the unexpected? In this season of Advent, ask God for the grace to respond to the unexpected with the courage and humility of Mary.

Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

 

Prayer 

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
  only asked
a simple, ‘How can this be?’
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
the astounding ministry she was offered… 

Excerpt from “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov's 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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