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"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord

May it be done to me according to your word." Luke 1:38

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness;

behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.

He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things;

the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped Isreal his servant, remembering his mercy,

according to his promise to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

Luke 1:46-55 (New American Bible translation)

As we prepare ourselves during this Advent season, I thought it only fitting to spend time with Mary's fiat and her proclamation of God's love for His chosen people. When you have time, I encourage you to go a little deeper by considering Joseph's complementary response to God's messenger.

Scripture doesn't record a single word spoken by St. Joseph but it is not necessary. Joseph's actions speak of his love of God the Father, his love of Jesus, his love of Mary. He was protector, guardian, obedient, faithful, patient, and head of the Holy Family. What must it have been like to be chosen as God's protector on this earth? What must it have been like to gaze upon Jesus as an infant, knowing the world in poignant need of a savior and knowing he held Him in his arms? Something to pray with as we move toward the nativity this season.

I took this picture at the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans. The traditional icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a Venetian glass mosaic.

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