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Thursday, Second Week of Advent, Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2016


Blessed Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception!


[Mary] then was so excellently redeemed,
that though when the time came,
the torrent of original iniquity
rushed to pour its unhappy waves over her conception,
with as much impetuosity as it had done
on that of other daughters of Adam;
yet when it reached there it passed not beyond,
but stopped,
as did anciently Jordan in the time of Joshua,
and for the same respect:
for this river held its stream
in reverence for the passage of the Ark of Alliance*;
and original sin drew back its waters,
revering and dreading the presence
of the true Tabernacle of the eternal alliance.
In this way then God turned away all captivity
from his glorious Mother,
giving her the blessing of both the states of human nature;
since she had the innocence which the first Adam had lost,
and enjoyed in an excellent sort
the redemption acquired for her.
-Treatise on the Love of God, St. Francis de Sales

*see Joshua 3

Jesse Tree
Judah, Genesis 49:8-12
Suggested symbol: lion
A printable file with the picture I’ve used can be found here: 3jesse-tree-pictures

When Jacob
finally returned,
with flocks and herds
and family,
he wrestled with
an angel
all night long.
who changed his name
to Israel
(“he who contends
with God”).

The wrestling
went on
within his family,
as twelve sons vied
for leadership.

son after son,
and jealousy
wrought hatred
for their father’s
favored child.
They would have killed him,
had not Reuben
and then Judah

As time went on
and famine came,
the brothers went
to Egypt,
to buy food,
never dreaming
that the governor
was Joseph,
whom they’d sold
in slavery.

It was Judah
who stepped forward,
put his own life
on the line
to meet the test,
protect the rest,
and bring his brother
His father blessed
his valor,
calling him
a crouching lion,
and entrusted
family leadership
and Promise
of Messiah
to his providential care

Empower me
O Lord,
to give myself
in sacrifice
amid hostility,
with confidence
in You
to set things right.

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