Dec 24, Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 24 ✬ Let it be with me according to your word.

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Prayers for candle-lighting

The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
[Light four candles]
For nothing is impossible with God.
The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

Luke 1:38

“Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according
to your word.”

Interpretation

The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces some amazing news:

•The Lord is with Mary.
•She has found favor with God.
•She will conceive and bear a son because the Holy Spirit will come upon her.
•The power of the Most High will overshadow her, such that the child to be born
will be holy.
•The Lord will even give to this child the kingly throne of his ancestor David.

Mary recognizes immediately that this news is fraught with danger, since she is an
unmarried virgin.

•Pregnancy under these circumstances will undoubtedly bring shame on Mary
and her family.
•It may even lead her family to abandon Mary to the street.

Yet Mary’s trust in the Lord is remarkable. She acknowledges her role as the Lord’s
servant, and consents to partner with God according to the word of God she has
received, no matter what the consequences might be for her life or that of her family.
I have recently watched with awe the courageous doctors whose faith has empowered
them to go to West Africa to treat the victims of the Ebola virus. I can easily imagine the
fear, doubt and questioning of their family members who recognize the risk these
doctors are taking to respond faithfully to the word of God in their own lives.

For Reflection:

Identify a time when you or a friend responded to God’s word, even when that
response seemed foolish, questionable or dangerous to family and friends. Did that
decision bear fruit? If so, what fruit?

Frequently, our past experiences with God contribute to our willingness to respond
positively to God’s word in the present time. What past experiences with God
contributed to the faithful response you identified in the preceding questions?

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