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Beatitudes of Mary for Advent

Blessed Sacrament Province Associate

Introduction:  In this prayer service, we are focusing on how Mary is blessed by her call, her response and birth of Jesus.  We are inspired by the September Associate Retreat that Kathleen Deignan led on Marguerite’s Beatitudes.   Marguerite understood that Mary is a blessing in our lives and she  blesses us with the gifts we need this Advent.   We are suggesting some songs but you may wish to choose others.

Suggested Song:  Mary’s Alleluia, on Ave, Kathleen Deignan, CND, Mary Anne Foley, CND

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed am I, your humble handmaid, if I live believing

that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled.

Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, for your firm believing

that the promises of the Lord would be fulfilled.

Blessed are we, your faithful people, if we live believing that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled.

Opening Prayer:  May Mary of Nazareth help us to open the doors of our hearts to Christ presence within us and within others!  May she enable us to grow in understanding the value of prayer, of inner silence, of listening to God’s Word; may she spur us to seek God’s will deeply and sincerely, even when this upsets our plans; may she encourage us while we wait for the God-who-comes , sharing our time and energies with those in need. Mother of God, woman of expectation, be with us this Advent season.  Amen.  (Adapted from Pope John Paul II)

Reading 1: Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Response:  Blessed are those who say YES to God ,

Who are not afraid of the unknown

Who believe in God’s power within them

Who discern nothing is impossible for God

      For they will bring Christ to birth!

Repeat the song:  Mary’s Alleluia

Reading 2: Luke 39-45   At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!

Response: Blessed are the Visitors

Who go in haste

Who receive blessing from the one visited

Who believe they bring Christ with them

     For they will know God’s faithfulness!

Repeat the song:  Mary’s Alleluia

Reading 3: Luke 2: 16-20  So the shepherds  hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Reading 4: Luke 2: 49-52  Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[j] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Response:  Blessed are those who treasure God’s works

Who remember miracles

Who reflect on daily wonders

Who accept pain and joy

      For they will live in hope!

Reflection Questions – Choose one or more: (about 15 minutes silence)

Does one of Mary’s Beatitudes resonate with me?  Recall an experience in which this beatitude is true for me.

Do I see myself bringing Christ to birth in my life, in what ways?

Do I believe I bring Christ and receive Christ in my visitations with others?  What would be an example of this?

What might be a blessing I would like to ask Mary for this Advent for myself… for those I love… for society?

Sharing in small or large groups

Intercessions

Closing Prayer:  Mary of the Visitation, blessed by the greatness of God’s call, the simplicity of your response and your blessing of others!  Help us know we are blessed by God’s gracious love and called to be a blessing to others.  Let us live this Advent in imitation of you thus preparing for the birth of Christ anew this year.  We ask this to praise God who is ever faithful.  Amen

Suggested Songs:  Ave Maria, On Ave, Kathleen Deignan, CND, Mary Anne Foley, CND or In the Footsteps of Mary.  Words of Ave Maria follows:

Ave Maria

You are the fruit of the royal vineyard:

you are the fruit of the boundless sea.

O longed for guest of the Visitation,

come bless our homeland with your peace.

O garden of virtue, O mansion of gladness,

Mother of sadness and clemency.

We sing our prayer to thee:  Ave Maria,

gratia plena.  Dominus tecum benedicta tu.

You are the love song of all lovers:

you are the garden of delight.

You are the fullness of earth’s desire;

you are the radiance in the night.

O vessel of fullness, O chalice of wisdom,

wellspring of health for all humankind.

Caress our heart and mind:  Ave Maria, gratia plena,

Dominus tecum, benedicta tu.

You are the clear light of the heavens:

you are the moonshine of the skies.

You wear a crown studded with the starlight:

you are the radiance in our eyes.

O river of mercy, o wellspring of justice,

fountain of grace, which renews our lives.

Come live with us:  Ave Maria, gratia plena,

Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus..

 

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