For a more enriching experience,
go down on your knees to pray or take it one step further
and prostrate yourself (lay face down) on the floor while praying.
Father, today's reading below is very interesting in that it never dawned on me how important it is to have a sense of identity. In our day and time we call it a label. All the same, back in the days of Jesus and throughout history, certain individuals have certain reactions to certain labels. Mary accepted her role (label) and owned it boldly, loudly, proudly with dignity and courage. She never backed away when others had a problem with her being a single, unwed mother who claimed to still be a virgin. And Jesus, there was never a doubt from the beginning of the spoken word from Gabriel who He was and what His role would be. As Jesus grew and matured, He stepped into His label with courage, never submitting to a fight to defend it. He simply stood in His God-given identity, even when others had a problem with It. Just as Mary and Jesus had many roles and labels, so do I. There are many hats that I wear, many roles that I play, and many labels to describe me so that others will not only know who I am, but understand who I am. If I don't understand my own identity, then how can I expect others to understand who I am? Thank You for this awareness, to stand boldly, loudly, proudly with dignity and courage in the person that you created me to be. My care is not what others think of me, my care is what You think of me.
Through Jesus Christ's Precious Blood, Most Sacred Name and Most Holy Face. ~Amen
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."
29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
32 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,
33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"
35 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.
36 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;
37 for nothing will be impossible for God."
38 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.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ
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