Daily Reflection – Dec 24, 2017
Sunday 24 December 2017
First Reading: 2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
Second Reading: ROM 16:25-27
Gospel Reading: LK 1:26-38
Today’s Note: Fourth Sunday of Advent
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.
You have found favor with God. (Luke 1:30)
We all know how special Mary is. After all, God chose her to be the mother of his Son. But just because Mary is special, that doesn’t mean you are ordinary. You’re special too! Like her, you have found God’s favor—unmerited and undeserved grace from heaven. In fact, God loves you so much that he sent his Son into the world, not to condemn you, but to save you (John 3:17). That’s pretty special!
The Greek word for “favor” in this passage can mean “grace” as well. Mary is full of grace—but so are you. God has filled you with his grace so that you can become “graceful” just as Mary was. She was graceful not because she had perfect etiquette or social skills. Mary was graceful because of the way God’s grace molded and formed her.
Scripture tells us God has given us an “abundance” of his grace (Romans 5:17). It’s always with us, like a spring bubbling up in our hearts. There is no end to what this grace can do in our lives. Paul tells us that God’s grace is “sufficient” even to make God’s power “perfect” in our lives (2 Corinthians 12:9).
This grace moves us to be unselfish, kind, and generous to everyone we meet. It helps us to forgive other people and to let go of our hurts. Most of all, the grace of God empowers us to be more and more like him. That’s what grace did in Mary’s life, and it’s what grace can do in our lives.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all sit quietly and let the grace that is in us convince us that Jesus is Lord? That’s what Mary did as she spent time pondering God’s greatness and his grace in her life (Luke 2:19). In fact, the best Christmas present we can give Jesus is to let his grace well up in our hearts. Remember: you are special. You are filled with God’s grace. So just sit with the Lord, and let that grace touch your heart.
“Thank you, Lord, for your grace and favor.”