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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Years ABC

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Lectionary: 622
Read the Gospel: Luke 1:39-56

Gospel Summary
Mary, now pregnant with Jesus, went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth, too, carried a baby who would later be known as John the Baptist. When Mary greeted her cousin, John leaped for joy in his mother's womb. Luke used this image to let his audience know that John recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promise that a Messiah would be born. Together Mary and Elizabeth praised God. The final verses of this passage comprise the Magnificat in which Mary recognized that the world would be different from the way it was normally viewed. That is, things that once marked greatness, wealth, power, and position would be reversed with Jesus. It would be the servant who received God's grace.

Reflection for Families
When we consider that Mary was a young teenager who found herself expecting a baby and not yet married, it could not have been a happy first thought for her. She surely had moments of anxiety, worry and fear. Although she may not have fully understood the reality of her situation, she eventually found reason to be joyful and share her joy with her cousin, Elizabeth. As parents we are often expected to be cheerleaders when our families face problems. Such a positive outlook is the greatest gift we can give those around us who struggle with concerns and worries. Rather than focus on the negative, we need to help our children find hope in a moment that might otherwise look discouraging. We can find that ray of hope through prayer and our own faith.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
The Gospel today illustrates the value of friendship. Mary went to her cousin and friend, Elizabeth, to share some really good news. Suggest that each member of the family think of a friend they haven't seen in a while and perform a random act of kindness for that friend. Think of something you can say, make, or do for that friend for no reason at all except that he/she is a friend. You might even try doing something in secret so the friend does not know you are the one who did the act of kindness.

Discussion Starters
1. One person I always like to share good news with is . . . because ...
2. Like Mary, I was open to God's will when ...
3. What I admire most about Mary is ...

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