Pause

Be still to listen.

Be brave to hear.

Be centered to behold a love too immense for our understanding.

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Listen

Mary said,

“With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name.”

Luke 1:46-49

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Think

Have you ever done anything with your whole heart? Have you ever loved any person, any animal with your whole heart? Do you remember the beautiful feeling?

My mother told me recently that her father, my grandfather, would pray Mary’s song – also known as the Magnificat – for the birth of all his grandchildren during his daughters’ labors. In that instant, I felt so much love from my grandfather, during my birth and the births of my cousins, spanning from 25 to 17 years old. Across that span of years, I feel all the love he put into those prayers.

Across that span of time, I also feel the love of Mary, whose words inspired my grandfather. If you are feeling the holiday blues, know that someone has prayed for you before. Know that all prayers are made in love. Mary’s love, so great and giving, and the love of her son, Jesus, stretch easily in time and space to encompass you.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

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Pray

God, thank you for the love that you encompass me in. Thank you for sending that love through Mary, through your son Jesus Christ, and throughout families that they have inspired. Amen.

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Go

What is the love of God calling you to do?

What is the love for God’s creation calling you to do?

What would you do for the love of the body of God?

Go, to love.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas is a senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in sociology. She is the First Lay Deputy from the Diocese of Arizona to the 79th Episcopal General Convention. This will be her second time as deputy. Her writing has also been featured as a columnist for The Episcopal Journal.

Unto Us: O Holy Night

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