We begin our prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming. Who love and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Collect for December 24, Morning Mass)
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
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.
After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What in this passage comforted you?
- What in this passage challenged you?
If practicing lectio divina as a family or in a group, after the reflection time, invite the participants to share their responses.
Read the Scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.
Read the Scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:
What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?
The Lord is with you. When do I feel the Lord’s presence most strongly? When am I most in need of the Lord’s presence?
Do not be afraid. Of what am I afraid? How do these fears affect my relationship with God? With others?
May it be done to me according to your word. To what is God asking me to say “yes”? What is standing in the way of my generous response to God’s will?
After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever;”
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
(Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29)
Living the Word This Week
How can I make my life a gift for others in charity?
In the bustle of holiday celebrations, take some time to sit quietly in the presence of the Lord and reflect on the gift of Jesus.
Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Excerpts from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.