Day 3 - Mary, the handmaid of the Lord

(December 2)

Introductory Prayer

Lord God,
when your Son came down from heaven,
Mary had conceived him in her heart
before she conceived him in her womb:
grant that by holy and just deeds
we may show forth in our lives the Christ whom we have received by faith,
and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading: Lk 1:34-38

And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"

And the angel said to her, "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. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible."

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


"Indeed, at the Annunciation Mary entrusted herself to God completely, with the ‘full submission of intellect and will,' mani­festing ‘the obedience of faith' to him who spoke to her through his messenger. She responded, therefore, with all her human and feminine ‘I,' and this response of faith included both perfect cooperation with ‘the grace of God that precedes and assists' and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who ‘constantly brings faith to completion by his gifts.'

"The word of the living God, announced to Mary by the angel, referred to her: ‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son' (Lk 1:31). By accepting this announcement, Mary was to become the ‘Mother of the Lord,' and the divine mystery of the Incarnation was to be accomplished in her: ‘The Father of mercies willed that the consent of the predestined Mother should precede the Incarnation.' And Mary gives this consent after she has heard everything the messenger has to say. . . . The mystery of the Incarnation was accom­plished when Mary uttered her fiat: ‘Let it be to me according to your word,' which made possible, as far as it depended upon her in the divine plan, the granting of her Son's desire."40

The Holy Rosary may be prayed.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
you prepared a worthy dwelling place for your
Son by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from all stain of sin
in your foreknowledge of his death,
so we, by her intercession,
may come to you with pure hearts.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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