Friday, December 6, 2019

Mass Readings for Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Mass Readings for Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 196

1st Reading – IS 7:10-14

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Our Blessed Mother and Her Perfect Faith

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. Luke 1:34-38

As we were given the example of Zechariah yesterday, so today we are given the witness of our Blessed Mother. And her witness is one of perfect faith!

What is her response? “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” We traditionally speak of this as her great “fiat” (yes) to God!

One thing we see within these words is that our Blessed Mother is offering her complete consent to something that she does not understand. The archangel gives a brief explanation to her but, if you honestly analyze this situation, what the angel says is beyond belief for most people. It’s also fair to conclude that the archangel’s explanation was not what convinced our Blessed Mother. She didn’t listen to these words, analyze them, consider how likely they were or were not, and then decide if she would believe. No, she listened, pondered, and then immediately consented to the words spoken. “Let it be done to me according to your word” she said. She didn’t say, “Let it be done to me insofar as I understand what you mean.” Our Blessed Mother’s faith was one that knew the truth without having to fully understand it. This is a gift!

Reflect, today, upon your own knowledge of the truth. Are you able to consent to the will of God and the truths of God without fully understanding them? Do you trust God more than you trust your own human reason? Are you willing to move forward in life by faith rather than by your limited human reason alone? Strive to imitate the pure faith-knowledge of our Blessed Mother. She knew the truth because it was spoken in her heart. And as she listened, she consented and embraced the holy will of God. We must do the same.

Lord, I desire to trust You with my whole mind, heart, soul and strength. Help me to always hear You speak and to respond with complete faith and generosity. Lord, may I imitate the perfect faith of Your mother by praying always with her, ‘let it be done to me according to Your word.’ Mother Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

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