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Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Years ABC

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Lectionary: 689
Read the Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

Gospel Summary
God shows favor to Mary and this is a rather remarkable thing since she is not very high up the social ladder of her day. It is after all Joseph who is a direct descendant of David. Mary can't even claim a noble ancestry. She is woman and a young and poor one at that. She cannot even find status in being someone's wife because as yet, she and Joseph are not married. Yet Gabriel, the angel of God, comes to her calling her a gifted lady who has found favor with God. From the angel she learns that she will have a baby by means of the Holy Spirit, and the child will be holy and one day rule as a king. This puzzles Mary. She further learns that her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, is also expecting a child.

Reflection for Families
God found favor with Mary. We are also gifted in God's eyes. Sometimes it takes courage to use our gifts. Sometimes we don't even recognize our gifts and others have to point them out to us. But Mary said yes to God even thought, surely a part of her wondered what the future would hold. Mary is an example for all of us to use our gifts to help others, to say yes when saying no would be less complicated. Consider what might get in the way of using your gifts and during this season, make a deliberate effort to remove the obstacle.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Take time to let each family member recall the birth or adoption of the family's children. There may be actual events that parents and siblings recall, or there may be stories that children have heard about their own birth. Share the emotions that surrounded the birth or adoption and compare those feelings with the feeling Mary might have had when the angel came. Continue the conversation by suggesting ways in which God might find favor with each remember of the family.

Discussion Starters

1. One gift I have that I plan to use to serve God is ...
2. It's very hard for me to say yes when ...
3. I know God finds favor with me when I ...


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