Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
December 9th, 2013

Michael Kavan
School of Medicine
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary (US)
[689] Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3bc-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Click HERE for the readings for Monday in the 2nd week of Advent

Praying Advent

Daily Advent Prayer


As we progress through this Advent season, today’s readings allow us the opportunity to reflect on two issues that are of importance in this season. The first is listening and the second is choice. In Genesis, we read about Adam and Eve and their inability to listen to God’s command regarding the eating of the forbidden fruit and the consequences associated with not doing so. In our second reading from Ephesians, Paul has listened to God and has become an authority to speak on his behalf; and as such, Paul asks us to listen to his words as he writes about God’s great love for us. In fact, God loves us so much that he adopts us through Jesus Christ. In our Gospel reading from Luke, we see that although Mary was initially alarmed and troubled by the appearance of Gabriel, she listened to and was open to his message from God as Gabriel announces Jesus’ upcoming birth.

Choice is another theme within each of today’s readings. In Genesis, both Adam and Even make the choice not to listen to God and, instead, they act based on love of self versus love of God. In Ephesians, Paul chooses to be God’s messenger and then notes that we are all chosen by God to live holy lives without the blemish of sin. And finally, in Luke we see a Mary who not only listens to God, but chooses to accept his will by being the “handmaid of the Lord.”

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, it is far too easy for consumerism, the love of self over others (i.e., “I want… I want…”_), and other stressors that are so common this time of year to distract us from the true meaning of the Christmas season.  Maybe it would helpful for all of us to avoid such temptations and, instead, set aside quiet time each day when we can truly listen to the words of God and reflect on the importance of following his words. My hunch is that as we open ourselves to God’s words of grace and love we will not only find in ourselves an inner peace, but a willingness to spread God’s words, much like Paul, through our acts of good will and charity toward others. In doing this, we are truly and genuinely choosing to be “handmaids of the Lord” and “who exist for the praise of His glory.”

Pope Francis on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

(Vatican Radio) The Immaculate Conception of Mary is “inscribed in God’s plan; it is the fruit of God’s love which saves the world.” These were Pope Francis’ comments during his weekly Angelus address for the second Sunday of Advent which coincides with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

On this Feast, the Holy Father said, our gaze turns to the “beauty of the Mother of Jesus, our Mother!” It is with great joy, he continued, that the Church contemplates the words of Saint Luke “full of grace” (Lk 1:28). Mary, moreover, guides us as we journey towards Christmas, teaching us “how to live this time of Advent waiting for the Lord.” Pope Francis went on to say that the Immaculate Conception was inscribed in God’s plan; it was the fruit of God’s love whereby the world was saved.

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