Believing the Impossible
Malvern Minute

 

December 8, 2017 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women. Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops) 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (1:26-38)

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.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“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 called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

Then the angel departed from her.

Reflect: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Strange and unusual things were happening to Mary. She was always close to God; faithful to his word. But now, an angel is appearing to her, and she is hearing about her part in an incredible prophecy. Mary is the sign of hope for all of us. Even though original sin entered into the world, Mary’s faithfulness to God became a “yes” for all of humanity. She may not have understood all of the minutia of God’s intervention in the world, but she trusted. Although she may have experienced some natural fear, her trust in God never waned. She believed with her entire being that “nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, May it be done to me according to your word” was an affirmation of how she lived from the moment of her conception. Mary shows us that we are made to do the will of God; to love, honor and praise him with our lives. In whatever vocation we choose, in whatever profession we pursue, in whatever relationships we have, activities we engage, or words we speak, we are made to be in harmony with God’s will and to reflect his presence to the world. None of us have the faith of Mary, or her perfect harmony with the will of God, yet we are creatures of God. We are made in his image and likeness, and he is forever calling us to be united with him. May Mary’s example, may her “yes”, give us the courage to be faithful to God and to seek his will with our entire being!

Questions: How is the Lord calling me to grow in faithfulness to his word? Even when something appears impossible for me can I trust that nothing is impossible for God – even in changing me or people I love from dangerous and destructive life situations? Although it might be challenging, can I begin to pray to God today: May your will be done in my life according to your word?

Pray: Loving God, nothing is impossible for you. Help me to trust you more each day. Give me the courage to be faithful. I am in your hands. May whatever you want from me be done according to your word. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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