Daily Reflection – Dec 12, 2015
Saturday 12 December 2015
First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 48:1-4, 9-11
Lord, make us turn to you, let us see your face and we shall be saved
Psalm 79(80):2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:10-13
Today’s Feast: Our Lady of Guadalupe
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.
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” This is Mary, Mother of the Americas, our patroness. The picture left on the cloak of the peasant Juan Diego very much resembles this verse from Revelation. The rays of the sun flow out from her, and stars adorn her cloak.
What are we to learn from Mary’s apparitions? So often they are given to the young and the poor, those whom the world disregards. We call her “Our Lady,” “Notre Dame,” but scripture scholar John McKenzie says she more resembles the scullery maid in the basement of the castle than its lady and queen. As Elizabeth Johnson so aptly names her, Mary is “Truly Our Sister.” How is Mary your sister? What other names and titles do you give her?
Hail Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Pray for those who are dying now with no human comfort, no medicine, no help. You are the help of the weak.