The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you want to live a grace-filled life? The angel Gabriel salutes Mary as “full of grace”. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary was enriched by God with gifts to enable her to assume this awesome role. There is a venerable tradition among many Christians, dating back to the early church, for honoring Mary as the spotless virgin who bore the Son of God in her womb. A number of early church fathers link Mary’s obedience to this singular grace of God. “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race… The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith” (from Adv. haeres 3.22.4, by Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, 130-200 AD).
Faith is the key that unlock’s the power of God’s kingdom in our lives
What is the key that can unlock the power and grace of God’s kingdom in our personal lives? Faith and obedience for sure! When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they immediately experienced the consequence of their action – separation from the God who loved them. God in his mercy promised them a Redeemer who would pay the price for their sin and the sin of the world. We see the marvelous unfolding of God’s plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. Mary’s prompt response of “yes” to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God’s promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God’s will, even if it seemed difficult or costly.
God gives us the grace to say “yes” to his will and to his transforming work in our lives
God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God’s promises and do you yield to his grace?
“Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified “yes” to your will and to your plan for my life.”
MARY CHANGES THE MENU
“The woman whom You put here with me — she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” —Genesis 3:12
Adam and Eve stood at the foot of the tree in the middle of the garden of Eden (see Gn 2:9; 3:3, 6). They were deciding whether or not to eat its fruit. The lying serpent persuaded them to go ahead and eat (Gn 3:1-5). Eve, the first woman, took the fruit, ate it, and gave Adam the forbidden fruit to eat. They ate the fruit of rebellion and disobedience. Thus the original sin was committed.
Mary is the new Eve. In her obedience, she fully reverses what the first Eve had sowed in her disobedience. The truthful Immaculate Virgin Mother still stands at the foot of the tree in the middle of the garden of Calvary (Jn 19:25, 41), the “tree” of the cross (Gal 3:13). One of the things Mary reverses is our eating patterns at the foot of the tree. Like the first Eve, Mary also is persuading us to eat of this tree’s fruit (Gn 3:1-5), the flesh of her Son Jesus, the Holy Eucharist (Jn 6:55ff).
Many people have been stuffing themselves with the things of the world (see Prv 13:19) for years. Some refuse to go along with the world’s diet and center their lives around the Mass, devoting themselves to partaking of the Bread of Life. Still others are deciding today whether or not to eat the fruit of sinful worldly pleasure.
Decide today to eat as Mary leads. Allow Mary to fully reverse Eve’s curse in your life. Receive the Holy Eucharist.
Prayer: Immaculate Mary, I accept your advice to do whatever Jesus tells me (Jn 2:5). “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Promise: “God chose us in Him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in His sight, to be full of love.” —Eph 1:4 Praise: Horace, once a non-Christian, came to know Jesus as Lord because of an interest in the prophetic messages given at Marian apparitions. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements