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Meditations & Reflections

FIRST JOY - THE ANNUNCIATION - THE GIFT OF FORTITUDE

THE FIRST JOY                                          Isaiah 7:10-14
THE ANNUNCIATION    
                           Luke 1:26-36

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Reflection:

At baptism we are called by name to give flesh to Christian values and beliefs. In responding to the gift of baptism, how have we dealt with becoming a disciple of the Lord? What is our relationship to God, Church and others? How do we respond to the invitation to build up the Body of Christ?

Why can living according to Christian values be a lonely and frightening thing? Name people and events in your life which have helped you live out your faith commitment?

PRAYER:

God our Father, your WORD became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. May we become more like Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge as our redeemer , God and man. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

SECOND JOY - THE VISITATION - THE GIFT OF COUNSEL

THE SECOND JOY                                          Luke 1: 39-56
THE VISITATION

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Reflection:

Mary's response to God was the powerful prayer of the Magnificat, the joyous acknowledgement of God's goodness within her. What is our response to God?

What are three positive qualities with which the Lord has blessed you? Whom do you turn to for counsel and friendship in your life?

PRAYER:

Eternal Father, you inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, to visit Elizabeth and assist her in her need. Keep us open to the working of your Spirit, and with Mary may we praise you forever. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (2)


THIRD JOY - THE NATIVITY - THE GIFT OF FEAR OF THE LORD

THE THIRD JOY                                          Luke 2:-1-20
THE NATIVITY and                                     Matthew 2:1-12
ADORATION OF THE MAGI

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Reflection:

In reflecting upon the role of Mary as a woman of faith, we learn that she accepted the will of the Father and all that went with that responsibility.

How do you respond to the will of God in your life?

Imagine the emotional turmoil Mary experienced at the time of Jesus' birth. She turned to God for strength. Where do you turn during those periods of emotional turmoil in your life?

PRAYER:

God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make us a people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (3)

 

FOURTH JOY - THE PRESENTATION - THE GIFT OF WISDOM

THE FOURTH JOY                                          Luke 22:22-35
THE PRESENTATION

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Reflection:

As Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the elders of the Temple, they once again displayed their love and faithfulness towards God.

As you were presented by your parents to the Lord in the Sacrament of Baptism, your parents also displayed their love and faithfulness towards God. How do you express your love and faithfulness towards God?

How do you share wisdom with others?

PRAYER:

All powerful Father, Christ your Son became man for us and was presented in the temple. May he free our hearts from sin and bring us into your presence. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen. (4)


FIFTH JOY - THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE - GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING

THE FIFTH JOY                                          Luke 2:41-52
THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE 
                      

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Reflection:

This event was probably a frustrating and stressful experience for both Mary and Joseph. The happiness of finding Jesus was lost when Mary and Joseph could not comprehend his explanation.

When do you most often lose sight of Christ within your life? How do you seek to understand the wisdom of God and the will of God?

What are the five qualities you appreciate about your parents and their love for you?

PRAYER:

Father, help us to live as the holy family, united in respect and love. Bring us to the joy and peace of your eternal home. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (5)

 

SIXTH JOY - THE RESURRECTION - THE GIFT OF PIETY AND LOVE

THE SIXTH JOY                                        Luke 24:1-11
THE RESURRECTION                               Mark 16:1-8

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Reflection:

The ordeal of seeing her only Son die a criminal's death was undoubtedly a traumatic experience for Mary. She drew strength from the Father's love and realized that Jesus would conquer death through the power of God.

From where do you draw your strength? Does the gift of the resurrection truly give you a reason to hope and a reason to live?

PRAYER:

God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (6)

 

SEVENTH JOY - THE ASSUMPTION - THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE

THE SEVENTH JOY                                       John 11:17-27
THE ASSUMPTION                                           Revelation 21:1-6

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Reflection:

As Mary experienced the call from God, we also need a deepening conviction and eagerness to hear God's call in our lives and respond to the call. It is important to trust God enough to allow ourselves to respond freely and generously as Mary did.

Are you as eager to hear God's call as Mary was? How are the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, serenity) growing and affecting your relationship with God and others?

PRAYER:

Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our Queen and Mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Brown, Raymond E. (ed.) Mary in the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978.

Carroll, Eamon. "Mary, Blessed Virgin, Devotion." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 9 (1967), 364-69

The Committee For Franciscan Liturgical Research. Franciscans at Prayer, Pulaski, WI Franciscan Publishers, 1983, no. 615-33

Jelly, Frederick, Madonna: Mary in the Church Tradition. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1986

John Paul II. Mother of the Redeemer. Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1987

Paul VI. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1974

The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1974, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.

 

Endnotes

1. Opening Prayer. Annunciation. The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1974. ICEL

2. Opening Prayer. Visitation. The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1974 ICEL

3.Alternate Opening Prayer. Christmas Mass during the Day.   The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1974 ICEL

4. Opening Prayer. Presentation of the Lord. The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1974 ICEL

5. Opening Prayer. Holy Family. The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1974 ICEL

6. Opening Prayer. Easter Sunday. The Roman Missal. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1974 ICEL

7. Opening Prayer. The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of all Creation. Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary. New York: Catholic Boook Publishing Co., 1988 ICEL