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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 20.12.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 20.12.2023

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ISAIAH 7: 10 – 14

In those days: The Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! I sit too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God is with us].”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 24: 1 – 2, 3 – 4ab, 5 – 6 (R.) 7c, 10c

R/. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world, and all who dwell in it.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the rivers he made it firm. R/.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The clean of hands and pure of heart,
whose soul is not set on vain things. R/.

Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,
And right reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the people who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. Alleluia.
O Key of David! You open the gates of the eternal Kingdom: come and lead us out of the prison where we sit in darkness.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“You will conceive in your womb and bear a son.”
LUKE 1: 26 – 38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I know not man?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon, you, and the power of the Most High will over shadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Running to the Will of God
Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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.” (Luke 1:35)

Try to set aside all that you know about Jesus and simply ponder these words of the Archangel Gabriel as if you were to hear them as our Blessed Mother did for the very first time. She was told she would have a child, even though she had not had relations with a man. She was told that this pregnancy would happen by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. And she was told that her Child would be the Son of God. What was Mary to think about these amazing revelations given to her by this most glorious Archangel?

The ordinary person would most likely conclude that this was some sort of hallucination and that what they were seeing and hearing was the result of some temporary psychological disorder. Perhaps she was dreaming? Or perhaps it was something she unknowingly ingested that has led to this experience?

But our Blessed Mother was no ordinary person, and she had no ordinary mind. Her mind was perfectly sharp on account of her immaculate nature. And her mind was continually “full of grace,” as Gabriel said in his greeting to her. She knew God’s voice, and she knew that this Archangel was speaking to her a message from on high. As a result, she listened, accepted, believed and consented.

We can also conclude that Mary did even more than merely consent. The love she had for God and His will would have been so strong that she would have been filled with an immediate and burning desire to fulfill this command of the Archangel. She would have been filled with a holy desire to do all she could to bring about this miraculous calling she had received. And this calling would have immediately become the central purpose of her life.

Though none of us has been given the unique and glorious vocation that was given to our Blessed Mother, we are all most certainly given a mission by God. Sometimes we listen and consider it. Sometimes we choose to embrace it. But the ideal is that we imitate our Blessed Mother and run to it. We must not only be open. We must not only submit. We must also allow every desire within our soul, every passion we have and every longing within us to work toward the accomplishment of God’s will.

What is it that God is calling you to do in life? What is your purpose? What is your mission? If you struggle in answering these questions, then perhaps start by praying for the deep and all-consuming holy desire to accomplish that which God has chosen for you. If all you desire is the fulfillment of the will of God, then when God reveals His will to you, you will more easily and more quickly be able to accomplish it.

Reflect, today, upon the unique mission that God has given to you. Whatever He has called you to do with your life is a calling given only to you. Do not run from it. Do not reluctantly accept it. Instead, run to it with your whole being and allow God to do great things through you.

PRAYER:
Most holy Lord, I know that You have a perfect plan for my life. I know that You have given me a mission that has not been given to anyone else. Please flood my soul with a holy desire to fully accomplish Your will and to do so with the most fervent commitment and strength. I, too, am a servant of You, O Lord; may it be done to me according to Your will. Mother Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

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