Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.
But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son; and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever; and his reign shall have no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative, Elizabeth, is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”
Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Lectio Divina
READ: “I am the handmaid of the Lord”
REFLECT: As we celebrate today the Feast of the Immac­ulate Conception, it is good to remind ourselves how Mary responded to the invitation brought by the Angel Gabriel: “I am the handmaid of the Lord”. It seems that Mary is in­viting every believer to reflect that all are handmaids or serv­ ants of the Lord. We are called to serve Him in one another. In effect our lives are lives for Service. “I am the handmaid of the Lord”. We are called to be like Mary, who was not stingy of herself but gave it for hu­manity.
PRAY: Lord, make us always understand that our calling is for the service of the Church and humanity. Our Lady has shown us the way: “I am the handmaid of the Lord”. May we re ready as well to utter the same words of Mary when we are confronted with challeng­ing tasks ahead.
ACT: Today as a resolve we can also show that readiness to serve others in whatever way we can but most especial­ly when we are asked to carry even the heavy loads of other people.

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