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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: December 8th: Immaculate Conception

1st Reading (Gen 3:9-15.20): After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the Lord God called to the man and asked him, «Where are you?». He answered, «I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself». Then he asked, «Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!». The man replied, «The woman whom you put here with me she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it». The Lord God then asked the woman, «Why did you do such a thing?». The woman answered, «The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it».

Then the Lord God said to the serpent: «Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel». The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
2nd Reading (Eph 1:3-6.11-12): Brothers and sisters: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 1:28.42): Alleluia. Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 1,26-38): In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, «Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you». Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.

But the angel said, «Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end». Then Mary said to the angel, «How can this be if I am a virgin?». And the angel said to her, «The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible». Then Mary said, «I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said». And the angel left her.

«The angel came to her and said, Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you»

Fr. David COMPTE i Verdaguer
(Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel plays a tune made up of three notes. Three notes which, in our society, are not always that well-tuned: one note of doing, one of friendship and another one of coherence of life. Nowadays, we all have very busy lives, but, do we have a plan? Today, when we are navigating through a world of communications, are we capable of being alone in our own company for a while? Today, in the information era, are we letting it shape who we are?

A plan. Mary, a young woman «betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David» (Lk 1:28). Mary has a plan. Of human proportions, evidently. Nevertheless, God comes into her life to bestow on her another project... of divine proportions. Today, He wants to come into our lives too, to give our everyday human tasks divine proportions.

A presence. «Do not fear, Mary» (Lk 1:30). We just do not go and build the first thing that comes into our head! Lest our addiction to “doing” were to become a way to hide a void. Marriage, a life of servitude, our profession, should not mean a leap in the dark. «(...) Full of grace, the Lord is with you» (Lk 1:28). Presence that accompanies and provides a new meaning. Trust in God, which —indirectly— brings us to trust others. Friendship with God that renews our friendship with others, too.

To shape ourselves. Today, when we are confronted with so many stimuli, so often conflicting, it is necessary to give unity and shape to our life. Mary, says saint Louis Mary Grignion, «is the living mould of God». «A sculptor, explains Grignion, can make a statue in two ways: By using his skill, strength, experience and good tools to produce a statue out of hard, shapeless matter; or by making a cast of it in a mould (...). The second is quick, easy, straightforward, almost effortless and inexpensive, but the mould must be perfect and true to life and the material must be easy to handle and offer no resistance». Mary is the great mould of God. Do we turn to Her by being ourselves material that easy to shape?