CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4.
Dec. 20: The whole world awaits Mary’s reply (St. Bernard)
AV Summary (0:55s) & text.
Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
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Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.
- Antiphon: Cfr. Isaiah 11; 1; 40,5; Lk 3; 6
- Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:26–38. The Annunciation
- Divine office Reading: The whole world awaits Mary’s reply
A branch shall sprout from the root of Jesse, and the glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth, and all flesh will see the salvation of God.
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
The whole world waits Mary’s reply
You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.
The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.
Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.
Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.
Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.
℟. Virgin Mary, receive the word of the Lord brought to you by the angel: You will conceive and bear a son, both God and man.* You will be called, Blessed among all women.
℣. You will indeed bear a son, yet suffer no loss of virginity; you will be with child, yet remain a mother ever undefiled.* You will be called, Blessed among all women.
3. VIDEO COMMENTARY: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD?
Today’s liturgical readings revolve around the fulfillment of God’s promises that He made long time ago. In the first reading (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-11), King David was determined to build a magnificent house for the Ark of the Covenant which was just housed in a tent since the Israelites left Egypt. The Lord, instead, built the house of David – a long line of descendants ending with Jesus. The second reading (Romans 16:25-27), exhorts Christians to have greater faith as, finally, the Savior, will come.
In today’s gospel reading (Luke 1:26-38), all the unexpected and unlikely things happened to usher in the Savior of the world. For one, the invitation of the angel Gabriel to Mary to become the Mother of God happens in an obscure place, Nazareth – far from Athens or Rome. For another, Gabriel announces that an aged woman, Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, will bear a child.
O God, eternal majesty, whose ineffable Word the immaculate Virgin received through the message of an Angel, and so became the dwelling-place of divinity, filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, grant, we pray, that by her example, we may in humility hold fast to your will.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
AUDIO CREDIT: Ave Maria (Lauridsen) by the world famous, Grand Prix Winner of the 2016 Arezzo International Choir Fesitval Philippine Madrigal Singers. With permission.
PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Luca Giordano, The Annunciation (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) via The Met’s Website in http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436502
#CHRISTMASNOVENA 4. Dec. 20: The whole world awaits #Mary’s reply (#StBernard). #Annunciation.
VIDEO COMMENTARY 2
TOPIC: DO YOU SAY ‘YES’ WHEN GOD CALLS?
1st Reading 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Responsorial Psalm Psalms 89
2nd Reading Romans 16:25-27
Gospel Luke 1:26-38
When our permission is asked, we either give our consent or we refuse. Mary pondered and consented to the will of God. When God knocks at the door of our heart to seek our permission to enter our life, especially when we need to make decisions that entail sacrifice and discomfort, what is our posture? He does not force Himself upon us but we should know better when we say ‘Yes’ to Him.
AV SUMMARY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA DEC. 20
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