Mercy is Surrender
December 8: Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent, Year C2
(Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
The greatest mercy story of all time begins: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee…” Catholic devotion recites this story three times a day in the prayer known as the Angelus: “The angel of the Lord announced to Mary...and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.” God used a human being to show his mercy to the lost human race.
The Angelus continues: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Mary’s act of mercy was surrender. We have mercy on others by surrendering to let Jesus, present in our bodies, express himself to others with us, in us, and through us. All day long.
“And the Word was made flesh: And dwelt among us,” the Angelus says. The fruit of God’s mercy and Mary’s is the human presence of God on earth for all time: first in the flesh Jesus took from Mary; now in all who give their bodies in baptism to be his “flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:51). By letting Jesus speak and act physically through us, we “bear fruit;’ the fruit of mercy that endures. Read John 15:4, 16; Mark 4:20; Romans 7:4.
This is a three-scene story. After each, say a Hail Mary reflectively to absorb its meaning.
Daily Practice: If you don’t know it, find the Angelus prayer online and pray it morning, noon, and evening.
Advent Prayer: Lord, I give you my body. Live this day with me, live this day in me, and live this day through me.