Week 1, Day 1
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Mary, Mother of Mercy
Scripture reading from the Gospel of John 8:2-11 – The story of the woman caught in adultery
What did Jesus write in the dirt? While the words that Christ wrote in the sand are not recorded in sacred scripture, many theologians believe that Jesus was writing the sins of the people who were about to stone the woman.
The Father’s Mercy for Mary
God loves us so much. We see this love through our parents. Mercy is God’s love shown in a special way when we sin against Him or our neighbor and He continues to love us and forgive our sins. Jesus encountered a group of people condemning a woman for her sins. They looked to him for his approval, but instead, he told them that the one who had no sin should throw the first stone at the woman. No one was without sin, so one by one, they went away. Jesus told the woman that he didn’t condemn her either (even though he had no sin and could have cast the first stone), and told her to go and sin no more.
What is adultery? It is when a man or a woman pretends to be married to someone he or she is not married to.
What do you think of God’s endless mercy? Would you be able to forgive so completely?
If someone hurt you, would you be able or willing to forgive him as readily as Jesus forgave the woman?
Jesus tells us to “go and sin no more” when we go to the sacrament of Confession. We examine our conscience and recall all the ways we fall short and disobey God’s laws. We approach Him and ask for forgiveness and He does not condemn us, but instead shows us His mercy and tells us to go and sin no more.
What is a conscience? Everyone has a conscience: It is that voice in your mind that helps you choose right from wrong.
How do you fall short of following God’s laws? Is going to confession something you like to do?
In the case of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, she was saved from the stain of sin before she was born. By thinking about this perfect example of God’s mercy for someone as completely human as we are, we can better understand the love God has for each of us. He loved us even while we were sinners, and extends His infinite mercy to each of us as many times as we ask for it.
What does infinite mean? It means that there is no beginning or end to it. God’s mercy has no limit, it will always be there, and we can never use it all up.
Daily Pious Practice Reminder
- Make a personal act of adoration three times each day.
Father of mercy, source of love, in your goodness you preserved the Virgin Mary from all stain of sin. Help us to enter more deeply into the mystery of your mercy so that we may better receive it in our own lives and show it to everyone we meet. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflection based on Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, edited by Fr Nathan Cromly.