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Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feastday of the United States of America

My dear encountered couples:

What surprises God has in store for you in the future only he knows. Exactly which gifts and what qualities God has placed within you for you to be able to carry out his will during your lifetime here on earth is something that I doubt you are really aware of.

Mary certainly received the surprise of her life. She had no idea that God had equipped her to be the Mother of his Son. That she was brought into this world free from sin and its effects, that she was immaculately conceived, she didn’t know that. She still didn’t know it even after the angel Gabriel let her in on God’s plans. How she was going to be able to do what God was expecting of her she had no idea. She didn’t even know for sure exactly what he was expecting of her. All she had been told was that she was going to have a baby boy and he was to grow up to be someone special. Whether she understood that he would become the looked for Messiah, we do not know. She probably didn’t.

Being the type of person she was, she just gave her “yes” to God and relied on him to help her work out the details. It would be his wisdom and his strength that she would count on to get her through. Other than that she was pretty much in the dark.

That sounds a lot like us, doesn’t it? We might have plans in our minds for the future (I imagine Mary did too), but what our future will really be we don’t know. Only God knows. And he has his preferences which we’ll only find out about as time goes on. Then there are life situations and happenings beyond our control that play a large part in deciding the course of our lives. God foresees all those things, and most likely without stopping them from happening he works his plans into them and around them. We are to be like Mary - willing to do God’s will, even without understanding exactly what is his will, and rely upon his wisdom and strength to do it.

I’ll bet Mary often wondered whether she was doing the right thing or not.. If she would have told her friends and neighbors what had transpired that day of the angel and tried to explain why she was pregnant, we can all pretty well figure what they would have thought. Saying yes to God and placing our lives in his hands is not an easy thing to do. We might often wonder how to do it. Mary teaches us how. We just say to God something like she said: “I want to do everything in my life your way, God. Help me.”

That willingness to let God run the show must come first. Then, by daily renewing your willingness, and through regular daily prayer to keep yourself open to God, you will more and more be led to do his will. At the moment of your conception, even though it wasn’t immaculate, God placed within you the necessary abilities and equipment you need to help him with his work on earth. You won’t be sure, until you meet God face to face and ask him how you did, whether you get an A, a B, or an F.

I’ll bet even Mary was surprised to find out how well she did. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised also. Ask Mary’s help to live a good life.

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