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Church Reflections

Awaiting Her Decision

The Catholic Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born to a normal woman, Mary, ¬†who was a virgin, using the traditional definition of the term. God, being born into the world by a woman, wasn’t forced upon Mary, but only occurred after she gave her consent.

Whether or not you believe in Jesus, there is a beautiful treasury of literary images surrounding this aspect to the story. God’s ultimate plan for humanity is fully dependent on a single choice presented to a single person. The decision, the choice being made having eternal consequences for not only her and those after her, but all of those who came before she did, as salvation was only granted to those before her as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus, her son, who would only exist in human form if she consented.

In the Catholic Church, there is the Liturgy of the Hours, which is a prescribed set of readings from Biblical and extra-biblical sources, and prayers set to the time of the day, as well as the season of the year. On December 20th, the following is from the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours.