Her response sounds strange, because we are conditioned to take the credit…She didn’t!

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Visitation by Mariotto Albertinelli (1503) Oil...

Visitation by Mariotto Albertinelli (1503) Oil on wood, 232 x 146 cm Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  And Mary said:* “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;w my spirit rejoices in God my savior. (Luke 1:46-47)

Observation:  In one of the selections for today’s Gospel reading that ends with the beginning of Mary’s response, called the Canticle of Mary, we hear about her relative, Elizabeth, greeting her by paying her a most amazing compliment about how she is most favored by God.  She could have said, “Oh well, you know, clean living and clean heart leads to Holy favors!”  She didn’t though, she said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”  How much more should this be my response when I am paid a compliment?  Not because of my greatness, but because of His grace that has done so much for me.

Personification:  Gentleness.  Since I am programmed, by the society I live in, to learn how to take a compliment, and do it by remembering that I should give thanks to the other people who helped me to be able to do these things, I think I often forget to give praise and glory to God, who is the one who deserves it.  I hope that I can display the fruit of gentleness, like Mary does in her Canticle and in her response to the Archangel Gabriel when he announces that she will be giving birth to our savior.

Prayer:  Lord, unlike Mary, I don’t know what you have planned for me, but I want to answer the way she did when presented with your will for me.  Be it done unto your servant according to your will.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Today, we celebrate the truth…It happened before, and it could happen again!

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Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit!

Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  “Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:45)

Observation:  To me, these words of Elizabeth are just agreeing with what the holy Spirit had revealed to her through her infant son, John, who was just leaping in her womb.  Elizabeth knew that her cousin, Mary, not only carried the Lord in her womb, that Mary would be honored by God forever as the woman who had faith that all things could be perfected through her acceptance of this holy gift.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I knew early that I would be attempting to display the fruit of faithfulness today.  It is not only because of the video that I shared earlier on Facebook.  It is also because I am hoping that everyone will see through the Assumption of Mary into heaven, that we celebrate today, that God has great things planned for all of us.  If we are truly faithful to God’s will for our lives, it is possible that we will spend eternity in heaven with Mary and her Son Jesus and all the other Saints who came before us.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay faithful to not only your words today, but also to the holy Spirit who is revealing the truth to us through the church.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Today marks a new start to the day for me…

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Angelus

Image by theroamincatholic via Flickr

Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  (Luke 1:42)

Blessed are you who believed 15 that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:45)

And Mary said: 16“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviorFor he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; (Luke 1:46-48)

Observation:  We started our discussion with the fact that we all had the same reaction when we heard the words of Elizabeth as she said that we have heard many times in the beginning of the Hail Mary prayer.  After that, someone to focus on the 45th verse that lead into the verses that I had selected this morning, because it is awesome to think about how amazing Mary’s faith had to be to accept this mission.  Finally, two people agreed that the 48th verse was very impactful, because it reminds us of how she and we are chosen because of our low status, or humility, not because we are great people to start with.  It was awesome to me to see that what the group selected just surrounded the verses that I had already picked this morning. 

Personification:  It was my focus today to begin every day from now on with the reminder of the fact that I am nothing without the Lord, and keep these verses in my heart and mind as I start each new day.  I imagine that since almost everyone wrote it down, we are all going to try to focus on the idea that our soul should be glorifying the Lord, and our spirit should be rejoicing in God, our Savior.

Prayer:  Lord, I pray that our group of young people who are committed to Christ in our church will be empowered by the holy Spirit to be unashamed of the gospel and to live their lives for you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.