Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
During the advent season readings, we are treated to some amazing Old Testament prophecies. Most have centered on the coming of Christ, the savior. However, we also receive a few, such as today’s first reading, mentioning Mary and her role in the salvation of mankind.
After looking through today’s first reading, I wondered where else Mary appears in the Old Testament. I found one scholar who made detailed claims for 32 appearances! I found another priest who provided an analysis on how 14 Old Testament women prefigured Mary (Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Deborah, Jachobed, Miriam, Judith, Esther, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba). What I gleaned from my research is that God knew of Mary’s specific role throughout all of time. And Mary, our perfect model, said yes to God’s plan in her life. As a result of her yes, Jesus came into the world, died for our sins, and purchased for us the merits of eternal life. Thanks in part to Mary’s yes, we all have the free offer to become adopted children of God and inherit eternal life.
God also has a plan for each one of our lives; a plan he’s had in mind for all of eternity (Jeremiah 1:5). Like Mary, when we say yes to God, we can also help bring about the salvation of mankind. Think about the eternal soul of each living and future person on earth. What impact could your yes to God’s plan have? How many souls could you help guide to heaven?
Let’s ask Mary, our Mother, to help us in all things, but especially to help us say yes to God’s plan for our lives.
As a last point, see below for a passage from St. Pope John Paul II summing up the concept of God’s plan for each of us in his apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici:
“The fundamental objective of the formation of the lay faithful is an ever-clearer discovery of one's vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one's mission. God calls me and sends me forth as a labourer in his vineyard. He calls me and sends me forth to work for the coming of his Kingdom in history (Section 58)”.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Do you feel connected to Mary in the Old Testament? Did it surprise you how many times Mary is referred to in the Old Testament?
Do you think that Mary is a good example for you? Or do you not relate to her because she was sinless and therefore had an easier time saying yes to God?
Can you imagine a world where Mary hesitated or didn't say yes? How would our faith be different? Would God have found someone else to do this job? Do you think there's A PLAN for how the Lord wants to work in your life? Are you saying yes or passing it off to someone else?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Here I am Lord."
"I come to do your will."
"I'm here to serve."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
This is the last weekend before Christmas so there's a lot of hustle and bustle ... but school's also out for the year! What are you doing to make Jesus Christ Incarnate real in your life this Christmas? How can Christmas be about more than presents and trees and lights?
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.
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