The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you want to live a grace-filled life? The angel Gabriel salutes Mary as “full of grace”. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary was enriched by God with gifts to enable her to assume this awesome role. There is a venerable tradition among many Christians, dating back to the early church, for honoring Mary as the spotless virgin who bore the Son of God in her womb. A number of early church fathers link Mary’s obedience to this singular grace of God. “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race… The knot of Eve’s disobedience was united by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith” (Ireneaus, 2nd century).
Faith is the key that unlock’s the power of God’s kingdom in our lives What is the key that can unlock the power and grace of Gods kingdom in our personal lives? Faith and obedience for sure! When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they immediately experienced the consequence of their action – separation from the God who loved them. God in his mercy promised them a Redeemer who would pay the price for their sin and the sin of the world. We see the marvelous unfolding of God’s plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. Mary’s prompt response of “yes” to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God’s promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God’s will, even if it seemed difficult or costly.
God gives us the grace to say “yes” to his will and to his transforming work in our lives God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God’s promises and do you yield to his grace? “Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified “yes” to your will and to your plan for my life.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
GOD’S WORTHY VESSEL
“…to be holy and blameless in His sight…” Ephesians 1:4
Picture a Thanksgiving supper. There are many leftovers and you are ready to store them in the refrigerator. Of course, you will put the leftovers in clean containers, so the food will not spoil. Who could imagine putting the leftovers in unwashed containers that the kids had used to make mudpies? The thought is repulsive; the image itself is unthinkable.
We couldn’t imagine a scene at Eucharistic Adoration where the monstrance was filthy. No, the priest or sacristan would first clean and polish the monstrance before placing the Holy Eucharist into it, so that the consecrated Bread of Life would be placed into a clean and suitable container befitting the holiness of our Lord.
How much more would Mary, as the Mother of God, need to be absolutely pure, spotless, and immaculate to be able to carry Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself, in her human womb? The Church teaches that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin” (Catechism, 491).
Mary received a special grace for her unique role in the plan of salvation, yet she also foreshadows God’s plan for each of us: to make us all “holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle” (Eph 5:27). With Mary, say “Yes” to a life of holy love for Jesus.
Prayer: Father, “cleanse me of sin” (Ps 51:9) that I may be made holy as You are holy (1 Pt 1:16). Promise: “We were predestined to praise His glory.” Eph 1:12 Praise: Mary Immaculate is a sure sign of the sovereignty of her Son Jesus as Lord of life and Lord of time. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014. The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements