Today's Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, we celebrate God’s beautiful plan for Mary, who was conceived without original sin and remained sinless her entire life.
On this special day, we contemplate what Mary’s life must have been like leading up to the event in today’s Gospel, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would be the mother of Jesus. What was she like as a little girl? What was her prayer life like? How did she interact with her parents, relatives, and friends? She probably was an amazing girl!
And although we do not know exactly what Mary’s early life was like, we can conclude that whatever it consisted of prepared her to say, “Yes!” to being the Mother of God.
Mary’s fiat, her yes, was proclaimed when she responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Although the event of having an angel appear to her must have been quite extraordinary, Mary responded with peace, trust, and confidence in the Lord. She unshakably said, “Yes!” to what seemed impossible. She didn’t respond with “Maybe.” Or “Can I think about it, Lord?” Or “Well, I’m not sure. That wasn’t really part of my five-year plan, God.” Rather, she said, “Yes!” Without understanding completely, without knowing every detail of the future, without grasping how everything would work out, Mary said, “Yes!” to God’s plan to bring the Messiah into the world.
Mary deserves our reverence and respect because she cooperated perfectly with God’s plan to bring forth Emmanuel to dwell among us, to teach us how to love God and neighbor, and to inevitably suffer, die, and rise again to save us from our sins. Her cooperation, her yes, also is the perfect example of how we can say, “Yes!” to God, too.
When God asks us to do something that seems scary or uncertain, we can reflect upon today’s Gospel reading to gain courage from the Blessed Virgin Mary’s response to God. We also can call upon her intercession when our will doesn’t line up perfectly with God’s.
God gave us Jesus through Mary’s yes, but God also gave us Mary through Jesus’ words from the Cross, when He said, “Behold your mother” (John 19:27). And as our mother, she will teach us how to say “Yes!” to God in all circumstances.
When God calls you to do something, how often do you respond with “Maybe.” Or “Can I think about it, Lord?” or “Well, I’m not sure, God; that wasn’t really part of my plan”? How can the example of Mary’s yes help you to respond with peace, trust, and confidence in the Lord, no matter what He asks of you?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You also for the gift of Mary. We are grateful for her fiat, her yes, and how You used her to bring the Messiah into this world. We also are grateful for her example of trust in Your ways and Your plans. We pray that through Mary’s intercession, we will say, “Yes!” to all that You ask of us. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Sarah Damm