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December 08, 2022

Solemnity of the 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.

Holy Interruptions 

I am always consoled in this reading at the parts of the Gospel that talk about Mary being both troubled and confused. There’s a relief in knowing that Mary could be caught off guard by Gabriel. This sense of being caught off guard or interrupted is something that happens to all of us in our daily lives, right? Especially when life feels like it’s moving really quickly, as it often does in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even positive messages can feel like an intrusion. My spiritual director calls these “holy interruptions”. 

In our reading today Mary quickly pivots from feeling troubled to questioning to welcoming this news. Why? Mary made decisions with her heart. Mary knew to leave room for interruptions. My hope is that Mary can be a model for all of us this Advent season. 

How can we leave room for holy interruptions in our daily lives?

Kay Gregg is the Assistant Department Chair for Campus Ministry at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, you come to us in so many ways, and through so many people and experiences. May our hearts remain open and attentive to these “holy interruptions” so that we may recognize them as encounters with you. Just as Mary accepted your entry into her life in a most unexpected way, help us to be open to you each day. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 08, 2022

Solemnity of the 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.

Holy Interruptions 

I am always consoled in this reading at the parts of the Gospel that talk about Mary being both troubled and confused. There’s a relief in knowing that Mary could be caught off guard by Gabriel. This sense of being caught off guard or interrupted is something that happens to all of us in our daily lives, right? Especially when life feels like it’s moving really quickly, as it often does in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even positive messages can feel like an intrusion. My spiritual director calls these “holy interruptions”. 

In our reading today Mary quickly pivots from feeling troubled to questioning to welcoming this news. Why? Mary made decisions with her heart. Mary knew to leave room for interruptions. My hope is that Mary can be a model for all of us this Advent season. 

How can we leave room for holy interruptions in our daily lives?

Kay Gregg is the Assistant Department Chair for Campus Ministry at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, you come to us in so many ways, and through so many people and experiences. May our hearts remain open and attentive to these “holy interruptions” so that we may recognize them as encounters with you. Just as Mary accepted your entry into her life in a most unexpected way, help us to be open to you each day. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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