One Minute Reflection – 8 December on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38
REFLECTION – “Son of God, grant me Your own admirable Gift, that I may celebrate the wondrous beauty of Your beloved Mother! The Virgin gave birth to a Son while preserving her virginity, she suckled Him who gives nourishment to the peoples, in her Immaculate breast she bore Him who carries the whole world in His Hands. She is Virgin and Mother, what will she not be hereafter? Holy in body, all beautiful in soul, pure of mind, upright in intelligence, perfect in feeling, chaste and faithful, pure of heart and filled with virtue.
May the hearts of virgins rejoice in Mary, since of her was born the One Who set humankind free from dreadful slavery. May the old Adam, wounded by the serpent, rejoice in Mary; it is Mary who gives Adam a posterity that allows him to crush the accursed serpent and who cures him of his mortal wound (Gen 3:15). Let Priests rejoice in the blessed Virgin; she has brought the High Priest into the world, Who gave Himself as a victim, putting an end to the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. … Let the Prophets rejoice in Mary, since in her, were fulfilled their visions, in her were realised their prophecies, in her were confirmed their oracles. Let all the Patriarchs rejoice in Mary since she received the blessing promised to them, she, who, in her Son, has brought them to completion. …
Mary is the new Tree of Life, who, instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve, gives to mankind that Sweet Fruit on which the whole world is fed.” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Marian hymn).
PRAYER –O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.